Monday, May 04, 2009

Cairo's terrifying traffic chaos

BBC News

Thanks to Tony Marson for this link.

Life in Cairo is a do or die race, in which you trample or are trampled. The traffic here is so bad those of a faint disposition will not long survive the daily commute.

The struggle with overcrowded roads is complicated by a lack of any respect for traffic lights or policemen. There is no semblance of lane discipline.

Modern Cairo was built to house four million people. It has now swelled to some 17 million which is why narrow two-way streets on the banks of the River Nile, are by 0900 local time transformed into four-lane carriageways.

Drivers swerve with the greatest dexterity into the tiniest of spaces. Nearly every car or bus carries the scars of battle.

Of course spare parts are expensive, no-one has insurance and claiming for damage is about as worthwhile as dowsing for water in the desert.

The rules are pretty simple. Full-beam headlights and blaring horns somewhere behind usually mean you are about to be overtaken - or undertaken - at high speed, even though there is no space between your car and that concrete wall beside you.

See the above page for the full story.

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