Monday, April 1, 2013

Views from the Road

Driving in Riyadh is notoriously awful. If you ever want to spend a few hours in absolute horror, go over to youtube and search for "Saudi Arabia Drifting". A favorite past-time of young Saudi men, drifting is scary and dangerous.

People disregard traffic rules. They turn a 5 lane into a 10 lane road. Turns are made from anywhere the driver wants to be. It is insane. I've stopped watching the road, because it just scares me. My poor husband says that he will never be stressed by U.S. traffic again, including driving in NYC.

Since women can't drive, I've seen a number of boys who look younger than my 13-year old son driving their mothers around. There is something really wrong with a society that lets a 12-year old drive because he is a male but restricts that adult mother.

Traffic fatalities in Saudi Arabia are really high because of the disregard for safety rules, aggressive driving, seat belts not being used, and kids bouncing around freely in the cars.

And that brings me to my next bout of road horror. . . seeing kids hanging out windows, bouncing around on the seats, and babies sitting on fathers' laps at the steering wheel. Sadly the attitude of many people in an accident was that it was Allah's will, which makes combating the road conditions and terrible safety attitude very difficult.

The only good thing about the roads? Seeing camels strapped in the back of trucks being transported somewhere. I don't know why, but it makes me smile every time.

1 comment:

  1. I had never heard of Saudi Arabian "drifting" before today. Now I have watched some video. Do they just randomly do it anywhere? The videos seem to have spectators gathered to watch, but I also saw one with a loaded school bus sharing the road.

    Well, at least the camels and their transporter seem to be taking safety measures.