'Lethal' driving conditions warning for World Cup fans

May 20, 2010 | By | In Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a warning this week to England fans who are travelling to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup to be prepared.

With venues for the football matches more than 17 hours' drive apart, fans are urged to take care on the roads and take important steps to avoid accidents.

South Africa currently has the highest amount of road traffic deaths in the world, so fans are being encouraged to take extra precautions when driving from venue to venue.

Motorists should be aware of the following points when driving in South Africa:

• Four way stops – Like a UK crossroad but the first driver to arrive at the junction has priority with the next driver to arriving assuming second priority and so on.

• Traffic lights – make sure that you reduce the risk of car raids by keeping your doors locked and stowing your valuables out of sight, or in the boot.

• Speed cameras – unlike the UK where speed cameras are marked, in South Africa cameras are usually hidden. Be aware that the speed limits are 120kph (74.5mph) on national highways and major roads, 100kph (62.14mph) in rural areas and 60kph (37.28mph) in built-up areas.

• Night driving – if you have to drive at night, take extra care and be aware of animals on the roads or other vehicles with no lights on

• Accidents – if you are involved in an accident, make sure you contact your car hire and insurance company BEFORE your car is towed away, and take photos of the incident where possible. If you spot an accident on the road, don’t stop, report it straight away to police – it could be a fake roadside incident which could put you and your passengers in danger.

Phil Lord, Know Before you Go spokesperson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “South Africa offers some spectacular scenery for those thinking of driving around the country. You drive on the same side of the road as the UK but there are other challenges to bear in mind. Make sure you are prepared by taking out travel insurance, check out the local rules of the road and remember to take your full driving licence. It is also important to be aware of your own safety and to take sensible precautions such as taking regular breaks.”

It is recommended that fans who are not planning to drive should stick to using public transport and licensed taxis. For further information on how to stay safe on South Africa’s roads visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel

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