Rules Of The Road

The rules of the road  are there to regulate traffic flow, to ensure safety, and to protect the rights of all road users. If everyone adheres to the rules of the road, the chances of accidents will be greatly reduced. 

(1) Vehicle to be driven on left side of roadway

  • Any person driving a vehicle on a public road shall do so by driving on the left side of the roadway.
  • Where such roadway is of sufficient width, in such manner as not to encroach on that half of the roadway to his or her right: Provided that such encroachment shall be permissible.
  • Where it can be done without obstructing or endangering other traffic or property which is or may be on such half and for a period and distance not longer than is necessary and prudent and provided that it is not prohibited by a road traffic sign.
  • In compliance with a direction of a traffic officer or a road traffic sign.
  • The above rule only applies to two way roads and not single direction roads.
  • All vehicles registered on or after 1st July 2006, must carry a double-sided reflective triangle.

(2) Speed Limits

The general speed limits are:

  • 60km/h on roads in an urban area.
  • 100km/h on roads outside an urban area for vehicles under 9000kg, and 80km/h for vehicles 9000kg and above.
  • 100km/h on roads outside urban area for buses and mini-buses conveying passengers.
  • 120km/h on freeways, and 80km/h for vehicles exceeding 9000kg.
  • A sign that indicates a different speed limit from the general speed limit always overrides the general speed limit.

(3) Driving on divided public road

  • Whenever any public road has been divided into two or more roadways by means of an intervening space or by a physical barrier or dividing section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, no person shall drive a vehicle upon such public road except upon the left-hand roadway, unless directed or permitted by an appropriate road traffic sign or a traffic officer to use another roadway.
  • No person shall drive a vehicle on, over, across or within any dividing space, barrier or section referred to above, except through an opening in such space, barrier or section or at a cross-over or intersection: Provided that no person shall so drive through any such opening or at any such cross-over or intersection where such driving is prohibited by an appropriate road traffic sign or by a traffic officer.

(4) Passing of vehicle

  • The driver of a vehicle intending to pass any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction on a public road shall pass to the right thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive on the left side of the roadway until safely clear of the vehicle so passed: Provided that, in the circumstances as aforesaid, passing on the left of such vehicle shall be permissible if the person driving the passing vehicle can do so with safety to himself or herself and other traffic or property which is or may be on such road.
  • The vehicle being passed is turning to its right or the driver thereof has signaled his or her intention of turning to his or her right
  • Such road is a public road in an urban area.
  • Is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction.
  • The roadway is of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.
  • Such road is a public road in an urban area and the roadway is of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles moving in each direction.
  • The roadway of such road is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction and is divided into traffic lanes by appropriate road traffic signs.
  • He or she is driving in compliance with the directions of a traffic officer or is driving in traffic which is under the general direction of such officer, and in accordance with such direction.
  • The driver of a vehicle shall not pass other traffic proceeding in the same direction on a public road when approaching.
  • The summit of a rise.
  • A curve.
  • Any other place where his or her view is so restricted that any such passing could create a hazard in relation to other traffic which might approach from the opposite direction, unless.
  • He or she can do so without encroaching on the right-hand side of the roadway.
  • The roadway of such road is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction.
  • The driver of a vehicle on a public road shall, become aware of other traffic proceeding in the same direction and wishing to pass his or her vehicle, cause his or her vehicle to travel as near to the left edge of the roadway as is possible, without endangering himself or herself or other traffic or property on the roadway, and shall not accelerate the speed of his or her vehicle until the other vehicle has passed.
  • When about to pass oncoming traffic, the driver of a vehicle on a public road shall ensure that the vehicle driven by him or her does not encroach on the roadway to his or her right in such manner as may obstruct or endanger such oncoming traffic.
  • The driver of a vehicle intending to pass a stationary bus on a public road shall do so with due care for the safety of persons who are approaching or leaving or may approach or leave such bus.

(5) Prohibition on driving on shoulder of public road, except in certain circumstances

  • No person shall drive a motor vehicle on the shoulder of a public road.
  • The driver of a motor vehicle may, during the period between sunrise and sunset, drive such motor vehicle on the shoulder of a public road which is designated for one lane of traffic in each direction.
  • While such motor vehicle is being overtaken by another vehicle.
  • If he or she can do so without endangering himself or herself, other traffic, pedestrians or property on such public road; and in an emergency ie: to change a tyre.
  • If persons and vehicles upon a public road are clearly discernible at a distance of at least 150 meters.

(6) Crossing or entering public road or traffic lane

  • The driver of a vehicle shall not cross a public road unless the road is clear of moving traffic for a sufficient distance to allow him or her to cross the road without obstructing or endangering any such traffic.
  • The driver of a vehicle shall not enter a public road unless he or she can do so with safety to himself or herself and other traffic.
  • The driver of a vehicle on a public road divided into traffic lanes by appropriate road traffic signs shall not turn from one lane into or across another lane unless he or she can do so without obstructing or endangering other traffic.

(7) Driving signals

The driver of a vehicle on a public road who intends to stop such vehicle or suddenly reduce the speed thereof, or to turn such vehicle to the left or to the right, or to move such vehicle to the left or right on the roadway, shall give a conspicuous signal, of his or her intention, visible to any person approaching him or her from the front or from the rear or from the side, and of a duration sufficient to warn any such person of his or her intention.

(8) Right of way at certain road junctions

The driver of a vehicle on a public road shall, when he or she intends entering any portion of a public road which constitutes a junction of two or more public roads where vehicular traffic is required to move around a traffic island within such junction, yield the right of way to all vehicular traffic approaching from his or her right within such junction, unless his or her entry into such junction is controlled by an instruction given by a traffic officer or a direction conveyed by a road traffic sign requiring him or her to act differently.

(9) Procedure when turning

  • The driver of a vehicle on a public road who desires to turn to the left shall, before reaching the point at which he or she intends to turn, indicate, his or her intention to turn and shall steer his vehicle as near to the left side of the roadway on which he or she is travelling as circumstances may permit and shall make such turn with due care and merge into such traffic stream as may at the time be proceeding along, towards or into the public road into which he desires to turn.
  • The driver of a vehicle on a public road who desires to turn right shall, before reaching the point at which he or she intends to turn, indicate his or her intention to turn and shall not effect such turning unless he or she can do so without obstructing or endangering other traffic.
  • If he or she is driving a vehicle on the roadway of a public road which roadway is intended for traffic in both directions.
  • He or she shall steer such vehicle as near as circumstances may permit to the immediate left of the middle of the roadway on which he or she is travelling.
  • Where the turn is at an intersection, he or she shall not encroach on the right half of the roadway into or out of which he or she intends to turn, except in the intersection itself, but shall in any event pass to the left of any traffic island in such intersection or comply with the direction conveyed by any appropriate road traffic sign.
  • If he or she is driving a vehicle on a roadway of a public road where such roadway is intended for traffic in only one direction.
  • He or she shall steer such vehicle as near as circumstances permit to the right side of such roadway.
  • Where the turn is at an intersection he or she shall not encroach on the right half of the roadway into which he or she intends to turn, except in the intersection itself but shall in any event pass to the left of any traffic island in such intersection or comply with the direction conveyed by an appropriate road traffic sign: Provided that where such turn is to be made into a roadway intended for traffic in only one direction, he or she may encroach on the right half of that roadway. 

(10) Vehicles

  • When using any light or heavy motor vehicle on a public road; all lamps must be undamaged, unobscured, properly secured, and capable of being lit at all times.
  • The headlamps, rear lamps and number plate lamps must be kept lighted during the period.
  • Between sunset and sunrise.
  • At any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable weather conditions, persons and vehicles upon the public road are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres.
  • Provided that these provisions shall not apply to a motor vehicle, which is parked.
  • Off the roadway of a public road.
  • In a parking place demarcated by an appropriate road traffic sign.
  • Within a distance of 12 meters from a lighted street lamp illuminating the road on which such vehicle is parked.

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(11) Parking of vehicles

  • No person shall park a vehicle on a public road; in contravention of any road traffic sign; on the same side as a fire hydrant within an area bounded by the center-line of the roadway and lines at right angles to such center-line one and a half meters on either side of the hydrant, if such hydrant is clearly visible to and recognizable as such by drivers of moving vehicles, or if it is indicated by an appropriate road traffic sign; in any place where the vehicle would not obscure any road traffic sign; in such manner as to encroach upon the sidewalk, if any; or in such manner as to obstruct any private or public vehicular entrance to such road.
  • No person shall park a vehicle on any portion of the roadway (excluding the shoulders) of a public road outside an urban area or with any part of such vehicle within one meter of the edge of such roadway except in a parking place demarcated by an appropriate road traffic sign.
  • No person shall park a vehicle on the roadway of a public road within an urban area; within nine meters of the side from which he or she approaches a pedestrian crossing demarcated by appropriate road traffic signs, unless such parking is permitted by appropriate road traffic signs; 
  • within five meters of any intersection unless such parking is permitted by a road traffic sign; 
  • upon or over the actuating mechanism of a traffic signal; (i) with the outside of any left-hand wheel thereof more than 450 millimetres within the roadway; (ii) where the public road concerned is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction and the vehicle is parked on the side of the roadway, with the outside of any right hand wheel thereof more than 450 millimeters within the roadway, unless such parking is permitted by an appropriate road traffic sign; or which is less than five and a half meters wide unless the public road concerned is restricted to vehicles moving in one direction and such parking is permitted by appropriate road traffic signs.
  • No person shall park a motor vehicle on a traffic island or in a pedestrian mall or pedestrian lane.
  • Vehicles not adhering to the above may be removed or caused to be removed and impounded by a traffic officer, and unless the vehicle has been so parked in the course of a theft thereof, the owner shall bear the costs of such removal and impoundment.

(12) Duties relating to motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle

  • You may not operate any motorcycle, on a public road unless all lamps fitted to such motorcycles are undamaged, properly secured and capable of being lighted at all times; When riding a motorcycle on a public road, the headlamp must be lighted at all times. (During night and day)
  • No person shall drive a motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle on a public road unless his or her feet are resting on the front foot-rests suitable for the purpose and, where the design of such motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle makes it possible to do so, he or she is seated astride on the saddle of such motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle.
  • No person shall on a public road carry a passenger on a motor cycle unless such cycle has an engine with a cylinder capacity exceeding 50 cubic centimeters and unless such passenger is seated in a side-car or astride on a pillion attached to such cycle and, in such latter event, the feet of the passenger are resting on foot-rests suitable for that purpose.
  • Not more than two persons shall ride upon a motor cycle on a public road, excluding a person riding in a side-car attached to such motor cycle.
  • Not more than two adult persons shall be carried in a side-car attached to a motor cycle on a public road.
  • No person or animal or object shall be carried on a motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle on a public road in front of the driver thereof: Provided that an object of a non-bulky nature may be so carried if securely attached to the motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle or placed in a suitable carrier fitted thereon for that purpose and carried in such a way as not to obstruct the driver’s view or prevent his or her exercising complete control over such motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle.
  • (a) Persons, other than traffic officers in the performance of their duties, driving motor cycles on a public road, shall drive in single file except in the course of overtaking another motor cycle, and two or more persons driving motor cycles shall not overtake another vehicle at the same time: Provided that where a public road is divided into traffic lanes, each such lane shall, for the purposes of this paragraph, be regarded as a public road.
  • For the purposes of paragraph (a), a motor cycle shall include a motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle.
  • No person driving a motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle on a public road or seated on such motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle shall take hold of any other vehicle in motion.
  • Any person driving a motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle on a public road shall do so with at least one hand on the handlebars of such motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle.
  • Any person driving a motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle on a public road shall do so in such manner that all the wheels of such motor cycle, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle are in contact with the surface of the road at all times. 

This forms part of the amendment of the National Road Traffic Act – created in 1996 – now Amended
 May 2009


Brakes on a Motor cycle or Motor tricycle
  • No Person shall operate on a public road a Motorcycle or motor tricycle which is not equipped with two independent braking systems, one of which shall act on the front wheel or wheels and the other on the rear wheel or wheels and each such system shall have an efficiency at least equal to that specified for an emergency brake & when the two systems are applied simultaneously, the combined efficiency shall be at least equivalent to that specified for a service brake.

Motor Bikes

  • Relating to side cars: No side car can be attached to any motorcycle that has an engine cylinder capacity of less than 50 cubic cm.

A driver may not

  • Disobey road rules or signs unless told to do so by a traffic officer.
  • Must have one hand on the handle bar at all times.
  • Passengers must sit securely with feet on foot rests.

(13) Vehicle causing excessive noise

  • No person shall operate on a public road a vehicle in such a manner as to cause any excessive noise which can be avoided by the exercise of reasonable care on his or her part.

(14) Use of hooter

  • No person shall on a public road use the sounding device or hooter of a vehicle except when such use is necessary in order to comply with the provisions of the regulations or on the grounds of safety.

HOOTER

You can only use a light motor vehicle on any public road if:

  • The hooter is in good working order.
  • When used the sounds is clearly heard from a distance of 90m.
  • Emergency sirens may not be played from a private vehicle 

(15) Riding on pedal cycles

  • No person shall ride a pedal cycle on a public road unless he or she is seated astride on the saddle of such pedal cycle.
  • Persons riding pedal cycles on a public road shall ride in single file except in the course of overtaking another pedal cycle, and two or more persons riding pedal cycles shall not overtake another vehicle at the same time.
  • No person riding or seated on a pedal cycle on a public road shall take hold of any other vehicle in motion.
  • No person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall deliberately cause such pedal cycle to swerve from side to side.
  • No person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall carry thereon any person, animal or object which obstructs his or her view or which prevents him or her from exercising complete control over the movements of such pedal cycle.
  • A person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall do so with at least one hand on the handle-bars of such pedal cycle.
  • Whenever a portion of a public road has been set aside for use by persons riding pedal cycles, no person shall ride a pedal cycle on any other portion of such road.
  • A person riding a pedal cycle on a public road or a portion of a public road set aside for use by persons riding pedal cycles, shall do so in such manner that all the wheels of such pedal cycle are in contact with the surface of the road at all times.

(16) Animal on public road

(1) No person shall leave or allow any bovine animal, horse, ass, mule, sheep, goat, pig or ostrich to be on any section of a public road where that section is fenced or in any other manner closed along both sides, and no person shall leave such animal in a place from where it may stray onto such section of a public road.

(2) The above rule shall not apply–

to any animal which is being ridden or is being used to draw a vehicle along a public road; or to any animal which is being driven from one place to another in such manner as not to constitute a source of danger or injury to any person or vehicle using such road.

(3) No person shall drive any animal referred to in statement (1)

  • along a public road during the period from sunset to sunrise, unless a person carrying a red light visible in clear weather for a distance of at least 150 meters tends such an animal or, in the case of a flock or herd of more than 10 animals, a person tending such animals and carrying a light as aforesaid precedes and another such person carrying a light as aforesaid follows such animals; or
  • along a public road during any other period, unless a person displaying in a conspicuous manner a red cloth, of not less than 300 millimeters by 300 millimeters, tends such animal or, in the case of a flock or herd of more than 10 animals, a person tending such animals and displaying a cloth as aforesaid precedes and another such person displaying a cloth as aforesaid follows such animals.

(4) A person in charge of an animal on a public road shall tend the animal in such a manner as not to constitute an obstruction or danger to other traffic.

(5) A traffic officer may take charge of any animal referred to in statement (1) on a public road or take such steps in respect of the animal as determined by the MEC of the province concerned.

(17) Animal-drawn vehicles

(1) No person shall operate an animal-drawn vehicle on a public road unless the name and address of the owner thereof is affixed or painted in a conspicuous position on the left side of such vehicle in letters not less than 25 millimetres high: Provided that nothing herein contained shall apply in respect of a vehicle used solely for the conveyance of persons otherwise than for hire or reward.

(2) No person shall operate an animal-drawn vehicle on a public road unless the vehicle and the harness and other equipment thereof are in an efficient and safe condition.

(3) The owner of an animal-drawn vehicle shall not cause or permit such vehicle to be used on a public road by any person who is not competent whether by reason of his or her age or otherwise to drive and control such vehicle.

(4) The driver of an animal-drawn vehicle on a public road shall at all times give his or her undivided attention to the driving of the vehicle under his or her control, and if the vehicle is standing on a public road, the driver shall not cease to retain control over every animal which is still harnessed to the vehicle, unless some other person competent to do so takes charge of every such animal, or every such animal is so fastened that it cannot move from the place where it has been left.

(5) No person shall operate on a public road a vehicle drawn by a team of animals not controlled by reins, unless there is a person leading the team and exercising control over such team.

(6) The driver or other person in charge of a vehicle drawn by any animal shall not, on a public road outside an urban area, permit such vehicle to follow any other vehicle similarly drawn at a distance of less than 150 metres calculated from the foremost animal of such first-mentioned vehicle, except for the purpose of overtaking a vehicle travelling at a slower speed or when a vehicle travelling at a greater speed, having overtaken such vehicle, is drawing away from it.

(18) Pedestrian’s right of way in pedestrian crossing 

(1) Where a pedestrian crossing is situated in conjunction with a traffic signal, a pedestrian shall not enter such crossing except in accordance with the indications of traffic signal.

(2) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a pedestrian crossing when the pedestrian is upon that half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is travelling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

(3) No pedestrian shall suddenly enter a pedestrian crossing and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

(4) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a pedestrian crossing to permit pedestrians to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not pass such stopped vehicle.

The “Red man” or light show the pedestrian that it is not safe to cross the road at the current intersection. The pedestrian must wait on the side walk until such time as the “green man” or light is shown. Pedestrians that are currently on the crossing must cross as soon as they can.

(19) Duties of pedestrians 

(1) Whenever a sidewalk or footpath abuts on the roadway of a public road, a pedestrian shall not walk on such roadway except for the purpose of crossing from one side of such roadway to the other or for some other sufficient reason.

(2) A pedestrian on a public road which has no sidewalk or footpath abutting on the roadway, shall walk as near as is practicable to the edge of the roadway on his or her right-hand side so as to face oncoming traffic on such roadway, except where the presence of pedestrians on the roadway is prohibited by a prescribed road traffic sign. 

(3) No pedestrian shall cross a public road without satisfying himself or herself that the roadway is sufficiently free from oncoming traffic to permit him or her to cross the road in safety.

(4) A pedestrian, when crossing a public road by means of a pedestrian crossing or in any other manner, shall not linger on such road but shall proceed with due despatch.

(5) No pedestrian on a public road shall conduct himself or herself in such a manner as to or as is likely to constitute a source of danger to himself or herself or to other traffic which is or may be on such road.

(6) A pedestrian may cross a public road only at a pedestrian crossing or an intersection or at a distance further than 50 metres from such pedestrian crossing or intersection.

(20) Hindering or obstructing traffic on public road 

(1) No person shall willfully or unnecessarily prevent, hinder or interrupt the free and proper passage of traffic on a public road.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the Act or any other law, no person shall place or abandon or cause to be placed or abandoned on a public road any object that may endanger or cause damage to traffic on such road

(21) Vehicle left or abandoned on public road

(1) Any vehicle standing on a public road in a position or in circumstances which in the opinion of a traffic officer, are likely to cause danger or an obstruction to other traffic on such road, may be removed forthwith to a safer place by any such traffic officer or person or authority instructed by such officer to remove such vehicle: Provided that such traffic officer or person or authority shall, in removing such vehicle, use such device or devices as may be necessary having regard to the public safety.

(2) Any vehicle–

  • parked in a place where

i.> the stopping of a vehicle is prohibited; or

ii.> a vehicle of a class to which such vehicle belongs may not be parked;

  • left for a continuous period of more than

i.> 24 hours in the same place on a public road outside an urban area;

ii.> seven days in the same place on a public road within an urban area; or

iii.> seven days on the site of any testing station; or

  • found on a public road and to which

i.> no licence number is affixed or, in the opinion of a traffic officer, a false licence number is affixed; or

ii.> no other number or anything else is affixed which may, in the opinion of a traffic officer, serve to identify the owner, 

  • shall be deemed to have been abandoned by the owner and such vehicle may be removed by or on behalf of the authority having jurisdiction over the place or road concerned and such authority shall take all reasonable steps to trace the owner, and the owner shall, except in the case of a stolen vehicle, be liable to such authority for the expenses incurred

i.> in the removal of such vehicle;

in keeping the vehicle in custody for a period not exceeding four months; and

in connection with the endeavor to trace him or her,

and such authority may, subject to the provisions of rule (3), retain possession of such vehicle until such expenses have been paid.

(3) If–

 

  • such owner is traced by the authority and fails to recover the vehicle concerned and pay the expenses referred to in that subregulation within 14 days after being requested to do so; or
  • after a lapse of one month from the date of removal, the owner cannot be traced,

such vehicle or anything contained therein may be sold in the manner prescribed by any law governing the sale of movable property by such authority and, whenever possible, the authority which registered such vehicle shall be advised of such sale.

(4) The proceeds of any sale shall be applied firstly to the costs of the removal, custody and sale of the vehicle concerned and all the endeavors made to trace the owner of such vehicle, and any balance shall be paid to the owner thereof upon his or her establishing his or her claim thereto: Provided that if no claim can be established within one year from the date of such sale, such balance shall be forfeited to the authority concerned.

(5) If an authority is unable to sell any vehicle, it may dispose of that vehicle in any manner it deems fit, and any moneys received as a result of such disposal shall be forfeited to such authority.

(6) An authority may delegate, either generally or specifically, any power conferred upon it in terms of that subregulation to any person in its employment.

(7) The reasonable exercise by any person or authority of the powers conferred by this regulation shall not render such person or authority subject to any liability in respect of the loss or theft of or damage to any vehicle or part thereof or of anything therein or thereon.

(8) Subject to the provisions of any other law, no person shall leave a vehicle in the same place on a public road for a continuous period of more than seven days.