Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Traffic full of surprises

Road users in Egypt have to anticipate everything, including the impossible. That’s daily routine, that’s normal. Egypt has not for nothing one of the highest rate of deadly road accidents.

Hurghada has divided roads, thanks God! After a bad, deadly accident recently, traffic was quickly redirected on to the opposite lane. Without signs, without traffic police, just like that. So there were cars, microbuses and lorries on the same lane, driving across each other. At the same time, cars continued turning into the lane from right where there was suddenly two-way traffic. Consequently, we saw two lines approaching, one going onwards between them!!!! Bloodcurdling! I closed my eyes and simply hoped that everything would go well.

And why do cars, microbuses and lorries back over longer distances, against traffic on the divided roads? Sometimes, because they missed to turn off. Sometimes however, because some hundred meters further on, there is a mobile police check point. Thus, when the driver’s documents are not ok or not existing, or when his car has actually been unfit to drive or has been stolen, there is only one solution: lop off. Backwards of course. So why, I ask myself every time, does the police not command someone 500 m prior to the check point? The traffic control would be much more successful. And the dangerous fashion of backing the car would tremendously be reduced.

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