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In this week 5 of the road safety campaign brought to you by Chobe Holdings, Botswana Police Service, Khoemacau Copper Mining and The Ngami Times our regular guest, Maun Police Station Traffic Officer, Assistant Superintendent Nelson Kelebetse talks to both drivers and pedestrians about the importance of adherence to road signs and markings.
The purpose of road signs and markings is to regulate the flow of traffic to ensure safety on the road. They also serve to warn motorists of the conditions on the road ahead, provide information and give guidance about routes and destinations.
Some of the road markings that Kelebetse shares with us include the broken lines, the white continuous or solid white line and zebra crossings.
The white continuous/solid line, he explains is used on curves or on high ways where there is a drift or blind spot that does not allow drivers to see vehicles coming from their front and the line cautions that overtaking is not allowed.
“The solid lines are also found on roads where there is a buildup area or the road is curving which makes it not possible for the drivers to overtake,” he added.
The zebra crossings on the other hand exist on the road surface to allow for pedestrians to cross. Before crossing the road, pedestrians are advised to first look on the right then left and right again. In addition, pedestrians are also urged to always be active or show life when crossing the road, and this does not mean they have to run.
“Make sure that the driver to which you are crossing has a clear view of you, and has brought the vehicle to a halt, that is when you can cross. At the zebra crossing pedestrians must also give themselves time to look and see vehicles properly.”
Road signs on the other hand consist of stop signs, yield signs, speed limit signs, pedestrian warning signs, animal crossing signs, traffic lights signs and information signs among others.
Stop signs according to the traffic officer are found on junctions and they are meant to warn drivers to stop before joining the main road so that they can see properly, the vehicle that’s coming on the road to which they are joining. The yield signs he explains are made for drivers who are joining the main road to yield and see properly that the road to which they are joining there is no other vehicle coming that is likely to cause an accident.
As according to Kelebetse, the pedestrian warning sign warn drivers that there are pedestrians that are likely to cross on the road they are driving on while the animal crossing signs such as for livestock or wild animals warn drivers that in such a road there is likelihood that an animal can cross therefore it cautions them to be on alert when approaching such roads.
As for the three traffic lights Kelebetse shares, “green light shows that you can proceed with your journey at the traffic lights, yellow sign warns you to prepare to stop and the red light means that you should bring that vehicle to a halt.”