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Some crazy driving conditions
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:13 pm 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
If some of the regulars are wodering as to why I was not posting lately, that is because I was on vacation in San Andres Island, Colombia for a week. Was nice to spend some time away from TV, Internet, Computers, Cell Phones, and, most of all, winter. But the story is about driving there.

1-st off, the speed limit is 30. The island is about 13 km long (north-south) and 3 km wide (east-west), so the speed limit is no big deal, going 40 you'll get anywhere withing 20 minutes, unless...
There are no traffic laws. Or maybe there are, but nothing is enforced. Our cabbie overtook a cop who was riding his motorcycle at 40 in a 30. Nothing happened. At a stop sign I saw a policemen lazily look by as the traffic went about completely oblivious to the stop sign on which the cop leaning on. But, strangely, I have not seen a single accident (apparently there are close to 50000 people living there, with many tourists, cabbies, thousands of motorcycles, golf carts on the road. People just go when they can, stop if they are going to crash into something, park anywhere, on the thinnest part of already thin road, overtake each other on the turns, motorcycles overtaking a truck while another truck is coming at them, the list does not end.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 pm 
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Must've been nice to spend that time in the warm sunny tropics!

Driving sounds chaotic by our standards, or compared to what we're used to. I've never been to San Andres but the locals must be used to driving that way.

Same subject... people think driving in places like Spain or Italy is crazy (drove in Spain recently), but their drivers, despite being "nuts" are very predictable. A lot of Canadians would just freak out driving there, but it's very easy to figure out if you drop the notion that "I always have to obey the law." Most of those places have simple rules: 1. Don't inconvenience anyone else; 2. When possible, keep moving and let others do the same; 3. Don't hit anything. I'd rather have a predictable crazy driver (Spain, Italy) than an unpredictable inattentive driver (Canada except for parts of Quebec), or a crazy unpredictable inattentive driver (Ontario), or a crazy unpredictable stupid self-centered inattentive driver (Toronto).

That said, in some places (possibly San Andres included) traffic is so chaotic it's mind-boggling. Cairo, Egypt is a good example. Bangkok is brutally congested and the drivers will put the car into any gap to get ahead: Wrong side of the road, the sidewalk, wrong way on one-way streets, anywhere. There will be six painted lanes of traffic but about ten or eleven vehicles lined up side-by-side. India has probably the most insane and chaotic driving on the planet. Almost as chaotic is the traffic in Vietnam.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:47 am 
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Location: South Western Ontario
Radar Identified wrote:
Must've been nice to spend that time in the warm sunny tropics!

Driving sounds chaotic by our standards, or compared to what we're used to. I've never been to San Andres but the locals must be used to driving that way.

Same subject... people think driving in places like Spain or Italy is crazy (drove in Spain recently), but their drivers, despite being "nuts" are very predictable. A lot of Canadians would just freak out driving there, but it's very easy to figure out if you drop the notion that "I always have to obey the law." Most of those places have simple rules: 1. Don't inconvenience anyone else; 2. When possible, keep moving and let others do the same; 3. Don't hit anything. I'd rather have a predictable crazy driver (Spain, Italy) than an unpredictable inattentive driver (Canada except for parts of Quebec), or a crazy unpredictable inattentive driver (Ontario), or a crazy unpredictable stupid self-centered inattentive driver (Toronto).

That said, in some places (possibly San Andres included) traffic is so chaotic it's mind-boggling. Cairo, Egypt is a good example. Bangkok is brutally congested and the drivers will put the car into any gap to get ahead: Wrong side of the road, the sidewalk, wrong way on one-way streets, anywhere. There will be six painted lanes of traffic but about ten or eleven vehicles lined up side-by-side. India has probably the most insane and chaotic driving on the planet. Almost as chaotic is the traffic in Vietnam.


Driving in Egypt is extremely chaotic. It seems like the chaos system works for them, but the reality is that many people die in accidents, including way too many pedestrians. However, they are becoming really strict on law enforcement there, which is probably for the best.

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"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal" - MLK Jr.


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