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Fists fly in 'intense' Car Free Day road rage
Fists flew in Honeydew on Friday morning as a motorist and a taxi driver climbed into each other in a bout of road rage - on what the Department of Transport has decreed Car Free Day.

Shouting and screaming, taxi drivers had to be chased from the scene as "chaos" broke out when they pulled in, blocking traffic, to aid their colleague, said Johannesburg metro police.

Bleeding profusely from a cut above his eye, the taxi driver went to the Honeydew Police Station to lay charges of malicious damage to property, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

With both of his hands cut up, the motorist was taken to the Flora Clinic, he said.

No matter what charges they laid against each other with the SA Police Service, both would be charged by the metro police with affray Nbreaching the peace by fighting in a public place, he said.

The altercation broke out at 7am, opposite the Clearwater Mall, said West Rand police spokesperson Inspector Zelda Viviers, but she refused to say what had happened.

"At this stage we can't say what happened... I can't go on allegations at this stage, because nothing can be confirmed."

However, according to Minnaar the fight started on the slipway off Hendrik Potgieter Road at the intersection with Christiaan de Wet Road.

The driver of a white Hi-Ace taxi was in the emergency lane. The driver of a grey BMW wanted to take the slipway.

"The taxi driver wouldn't allow him to turn and there was a confrontation between the drivers," Minnaar said.

"(It was) so intense that a little distance further on, they got out and started fighting physically," he said.

Both threw punches at each other.

The BMW's front windscreen was shattered in the fisticuffs. The taxi's front right window was also smashed.

"Metro police arrived and chased away all the other taxi drivers," said Minnaar. The seven vehicles had been blocking the road and "causing chaos", he said.

"They were shouting and screaming".

  • It was only in May that elderly motorist Joe Duffy was beaten up when he slammed into the back of a car on his way back from church.

    The 83-year-old Duffy's nose, jaw and cheekbones were broken and his skull cracked in the beating doled out to him.

    Motorist Andre Dirker, 36, of Northcliff, handed himself over to the police after the incident and was charged with assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

    He is to appear in Alberton magistrate's court again on November 16, but Duffy has since died and the case might not proceed for lack of evidence.

    On its website, Arrive Alive advises irritable, impatient drivers to "calm down, take a deep breath and relax".

    "Accept the fact that you're bound to meet all sorts of different drivers on the road. Don't take things personally."

    It suggests that motorists take heed of Road Accident Fund advice not to do things which might anger other road users.

    These include slowing down to allow motorists who cut you off to merge into your lane, moving over to let speeding vehicles overtake, and allowing sufficient following space.

    They also include using hooters rarely, if ever, avoiding the use of any gestures, and not making eye contact with an angry driver.

    "Give angry drivers lots of room. If another driver tries to pick a fight, put as much distance between you as possible." - Sapa


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