Maximum speed on all roads is 50 km/h   Maximum speed on all roads is 50 km/h   Maximum speed on all roads is 50 km/h unless 'Speed limit' signs show otherwise.

Never drive so fast that you cannot stop well within the distance which you can see to be clear. Go much more slowly if the road is wet or if there is fog or mist. Do not brake sharply except in an emergency.

You must obey the speed limits for the road and for your vehicle. A speed limit is the maximum speed allowed. It does not mean that it is safe to drive at that speed -- always take into account all the conditions prevailing at the time.

How big is a gap?

Leave a big enough gap between you and the vehicle in front -- big enough for you to stop safely if the vehicle suddenly slows down or stops.

Continuously try to anticipate the situation on the road ahead and leave yourself room to work in ¡V room to recognise a developing situation and room to act.

If you have to take panic action because you have insufficient room to act smoothly, you are either going too fast or driving too close to the vehicle in front.

On wet roads, or if your tyres, brakes, or even your health, are below par, the gap should be much bigger than normal. And when a vehicle overtakes you and moves into the gap ahead, drop back to regain your safe gap.

The safe rule is to leave your stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front. But in heavy, slow-moving urban traffic this may not be practicable. So a sensible balance has to be drawn. However if you are driving closer than your stopping distance you are taking a risk -- particularly if a pedestrian was to step onto the road in front of you. The gap should never be less than your thinking distance.

On roads with faster traffic it becomes much more important to keep a safe gap. Your stopping distance is still the only really safe gap but a reasonable rule to apply in good conditions is a gap of one metre for each 2 km/h of your speed or a two-second time gap -- more if you are driving a heavy vehicle -- may be enough.

Note: km/h means kilometres per hour.

Two-second rule

illustration

A simple aid to judging the distance of a two-second time gap -- and one which can be practised by driver or passenger -- is to select an easily identifiable mark on the road or roadside ahead and as the vehicle in front passes it say, slowly, the phrase 'a thousand and one, a thousand and two'.

If you pass the mark before you have finished saying this then you are driving too close.

In bad conditions, double the count to four seconds, or even more.

If the driver in the 'A' car reaches the traffic sign before being able to say, slowly, 'a thousand and one, a thousand and two' , he is driving too close to the 'B' car in front.