Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Traffic signals are designed to control the flow of traffic approaching a junction from
different directions. They are internationally accepted to be one of the cornerstones of safe traffic flows, and rely on a high level of recognition and compliance to be effective.
Anecdotal evidence from across South Africa indicates that noncompliance with traffic
signals has become an endemic part of SA driving behaviour, yet this has not yet been
evaluated in terms of increased risks that it poses for South African road users. This paper examines the behaviour of drivers at a range of signalised intersections in Stellenbosch and quantifies levels of non-compliance at each junction. The age and gender of the driver responsible for each encroachment, and the presence or absence of passengers, is also examined. Finally, justifications for red-light running decisions, ascertained in a survey of drivers within the town of Stellenbosch, give some insight into why drivers encroach in specific circumstances.
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