I've only been driving here in Libya for the past few months. In the beginning I was afraid, but I've gotten over the initial fear and I'm getting pretty good at it. Actually, being a passenger is probably worse than being the driver because as a passenger you have no control. Also, I've come to realise that my husband is an awful driver - not that he can't drive, he's good at it. His problem is that from the moment he gets behind the wheel of the car he becomes 'Mr. Road Rage'. That makes me nervous. I hate going anywhere with him driving, and if I'm driving he is yelling at other drivers and at me too!
I'm happy in the car. I get in and put on some music, put on the air conditioner and away I go. If some idiot with road rage wants to cut in front of me, I let them. If another idiot behind me wants to entertain the world with the music from his horn, I just turn up the volume on my CD player and let them honk away to their hearts content.
Big Damn Heroes has a nice post about driving here. One thing that I really hate are the traffic circles. Death traps, for sure! The fact that no one follows any traffic rules or laws make me think that there probably aren't any.
Many Libyans have decided to limit the amount of speeding that's done in their neighbourhoods by creating traffic bumps (in the UK they are called sleeping policemen). These homemade traffic bumps are dangerous. I don't know how many times I have hit one that I had not seen and nearly had an accident! You have to slow down and go over them really carefully. I have a mental map of all the traffic bumps and potholes on the roads I frequently travel.
A few years ago the street near my house was widened and resurfaced. Cars were flying down the road and we were worried about the kids crossing it to go to school. We had also been having a big problem with the boys hot rodding near our house, trying to impress the girls at the nearby high school. My husband went to the agency that dealt with traffic signs, etc. and asked if they would come out and put up some signs and traffic bumps so none of the children would get killed. They said 'Make us a map of where you want the bumps and the signs and we will be more than happy to install them.' So we did just that! - Within 48 hours the traffic bumps and signs were in place! Actually they were very happy to do it and said that no one ever asks them, they'd be more than happy to put them in for anyone who requested them. Aaaahhhhhh.... everyone in Libya complains, but no one thinks to complain to the right place!
I still plan on taking a defensive driving course, if I ever get a spare moment or two.
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