Traffic Week

My good friend Joseph Simmons (who, by the way, happens to  speaks Arabic at what linguists commonly refer to as the “far-out sick nasty level”)  has a good post on traffic in Egypt:

Traffic accidents in Egypt continue to be a major problem as over 30 people have been killed and over scores injured on the roads just this month. Official estimates place the number of deaths in road accidents in Egypt at around 6000 to 8000 per year with tens of thousands of injuries. In August 2008, the government began to implement a new traffic lawin an attempt to fix some of Egypt’s traffic problems, including banning the use of cell phones without headsets, the requirement for taxi drivers to wear seatbelts (which they usually only do when they see a policeman, and even so often just sling the belt over themselves without securing it), and fines for driving in the wrong direction. It’s not clear that the new law has had any real effect.

Traffic problems in Egypt result from human error as well as legal and physical deficiencies .

Word is that Blackstar has a long rantpost about traffic deficiencies in Lebanon on the way so let me take this occasion to announce “Traffic Week” at MediaShack.  Each day  I will be tell a different story about life behind the wheels in Egypt.

4 Responses

  1. I think you need to organize a vote: which Arab country has the most horrible driving?

    Egypt is really high on my list, but I would also like to nominate Saudi Arabia (reportedly topping the world list of yearly traffic casualties).

    Actual driving skills seem about equally bad in both places, but in Cairo people are excused, because there’s no way to drive legally in the traffic jams of Cairo. In KSA, on the other hand, they have these huge fucking jeeps and wide, multi-lane highways that combine to create Egyptian-style craziness at ten times the speed and danger, when in fact it would be possible to drive safely and legally.

  2. Thats a good idea Alle. It wouldnt surprise me about Saudi. actually, I’ve got a Saudi friend who just lost a close relative in a traffic accident in Saudi.

    I think you’ve got a point about the geography of the issue. Traffic fatalities in Egypt rarely occur inside Cairo where its too dense to pick up serious speed, but usually on the highways, such as the Ring Road around Cairo or between the cities.

  3. Thanks for sharing the details. I found the info extremely helpful.

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