Monday, March 9, 2009

Driving around the world

If you're looking for a cheap thrill when you're sick, it's something to peruse the "Country-specific Information" on the State Department's travel advisories page. It's a frank rundown, and some interesting things pop up. Such as the following stuff on traffic rules and safety in other countries:

East Timor:
Accidents occur frequently. When there is an accident, the police should be contacted. It is not uncommon for bystanders to attack the driver perceived to be responsible for a traffic accident.


Swaziland:
Extreme caution is recommended if/when using mini-bus taxis, which follow fixed routes and are flagged down by passengers almost everywhere on the streets and roads of Swaziland... Fatal accidents involving these conveyances are very common.


Lesotho:
Traffic moves on the left, with right-hand drive vehicles. Never assume right-of-way, as aggressive and undisciplined local driving habits result in frequent collisions. Lesotho has a high number of traffic-related deaths and injuries given its small size. The previous king died in a road accident in 1996...


Mongolia:
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of vehicles on the roads in recent years, but the knowledge and skills of the driving population have not kept pace with the growth in the number of automobiles on the streets.


Indonesia:

Throughout Indonesia, there is an overabundance of motorcycles claiming to have the right of way. Many motorcycle drivers recklessly weave in and out of traffic and typically fail to observe traffic regulations...accidents between a car and a motorcycle are invariably viewed as the fault of the driver of the car. Groups of motorcycle riders will sometimes threaten the driver of a car who is involved in an accident regardless of who is at fault.

Nigeria:

It is also important to be aware that drivers and passengers of vehicles involved in accidents resulting in injury or death have experienced extra-judicial actions, i.e., mob attacks, official consequences such as fines and incarceration or involvement with the victim's family.

Non-driving highlights include the State Department calling out Tajikistan for excessive "bar fighting", and hair-raising profiles of Venezuela and North Korea.

1 comment:

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