Thursday, November 13, 2008

Here's what we're up against.

A couple of days ago I included in a post a photo of cars going into a No Entry road - driven the wrong way up a narrow one way street in Dubai Marina.

One of the comments said:

My friend lives right where you have the car circled in the No Way lane.

He tells me he has no other way to get home than drive through the No Wy sign.

I wonder whether it was 'friend' who came charging towards me last evening, having ignored the No Entry signs to drive the wrong way along the one way street and into the oncoming traffic.

Most of the people are doing it deliberately because they can't be bothered to drive round the one way system. It's shorter for those who live in the buildings near the No Entry signs to just pretend they're not there.

But it seems 'friend' has a problem understanding signs even though they only have basic symbols on them. Even easy stuff like arrows.

Here's the street I'm talking about:

See - a yellow sign with a black arrow pointing the way, a red No Entry sign. In fact there are three No Entry signs.

Not difficult to follow is it?

But it does demonstrate the problem. A whole bunch of people who decide the rules don't apply to them because they're marginally inconvenient and others who ignore them because they don't understand pictorial, international road signs.


Abid said...

The problem is that the native Arabs are only marginally decent at driving, and the Indian expats sincerely believe that there are no laws of the road.

The reason this problem doesn't exist in Western countries is because the immigrant to native ratio is much lower and becasue natives are much better at obeying laws of the road.

Anonymous said...

I lived at the Nuran Residences at Dubai Marina for about six weeks. On my drive back to the apartment, there are always cars driven like crazy along Dubai Marina Rd. Most of the drivers were white.

Bad and crazy drivers comes in all colors and religious persuasion. Even driving instructors without their trainee drive recklessly. I have seen them outside a driving school.

Anonymous said...

I had the privilege/misfortune of witnessing the 2-bus crash which led to 75 people being injured last night. .......

Np prizes for guessing the cause, which was the drivers not keeping a safe distance between the 2 buses......

In a typically kneejerk reaction, the police arrested the driver of the first bus, who was hit from behind, and had to brake hard because of a car suddenly braking in front of him to take a right turn (see it all the time at exits)

Maybe the car driver had "wasta"?

Seabee said...

Abid as Anon said, it's not restricted to one or two nationalities or ethnic groups. Or gender. Every day I see people of all groups driving badly.

Compare the driving culture in places like Cairo or Mumbai with London or Berlin. I think it's worse when Europeans drive badly because they come from good driving cultures. They drive within the law when they're in their oewn countries but too many of them drive like lunatics when they're in Dubai.

Unknown said...

You are right. However, last Thursday, I was about to leave home to go party, it’s Thursday night, 11:00 PM, traffic should not be as bad. I live in lovely Sharjah on the even lovelier Corniche. One of the tiny inner roads that takes you to one of the main roads in Sharjah was closed. Why? Simply because one of the construction companies decided it was time for them to work 11:00 PM… they closed the road down and diverted the traffic to an always-24-7-hell-of-congestion cornice road. It took me exactly 45 minuets to get to the road that usually is 3 mins drive away from my building. So, trust me, if there was a No Entry road that would have solved that for me, I would have taken it. If the construction companies owned by one of the big shots has the right to close road as it pleases, I have the right to save myself a hell of a traffic jam.

Seabee said...

RiD, that annoys the hell out of me too. We get it all the time in New Dubai, construction companies just take over whatever road or part of road they want for their cranes or scaffolding or to dig one of the endless holes we have to put up with.

Never any advance warning, never any diversion signs, just a guy with a red flad standing at the actual obstruction.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Sharjah? Are U kidding? That's the worst place ever. Have you ever been to Rolla or industrial areas or National Paints roundabout?! Sharjah is a living nightmare: you can't even cross safely the minor roads!

Unknown said...

The six-story building on the right in the picture is where I live. Mad driving in Dubai drives me crazy.. on daily basis. I abide by all traffic rules and would never break the law in order to save a minute or two.

But, in this case, the "No Entry" sign is new. Going around the buildings using the new diversion does not always work because this road is usually closed by construction trucks, most of the time. Almost every time I come home, the WRONG way is the only way to get to my building. When the new diversion road is closed they forget to open the "NO ENTRY" one, and we're always left guessing. When I drive down the new road to go around my building, and when the road is closed, there is no way to go back but to drive in reverse which can be very dangerous too.

I can't wait for this mess to be done with, and for the roads to be completed so we can drive home safely and without waiting hours on end.

Not making excuses for breaking the law, but talking of harsh realities.


Seabee said...

Eyad the road around has been open, and not blocked, for a long time. I drive around the correct way several times every day, and have done so for months.