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Old February 7th, 2010, 02:09 AM   #101
Morjo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piotr71 View Post
Yes, as long as cars on middle lane are moving faster than on left one, leaving enough space to be overtaken, it is, let's say ok. Although, in the UK people very often drive in the middle with lower speed to those keeping left. Such way of driving, forces left lane drivers, who want overtake, to go around slower moving vehicles across whole width of carriageway. This sort of behaviour works against lane discipline, courtesy, logic and traffic code and may be a factor causing traffic jams.



I do agree indeed. Nowhere else though, I have noticed that scale of intensity of the phenomenon. Even overnight it goes in this way.
It's must just be the way they are taught to drive in regards to motorways, which I admire. Though having their inside lane traffic move faster than the middle lane is hazardous.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 04:19 AM   #102
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Old February 8th, 2010, 05:50 AM   #103
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I think the "middlesticking" issue should deserve a proper 3d. Seems like the whole world suffers of this bad motoring illness.

Well, I cannot find a cause for this phenomenon, but we can start explaining that in Italy many drivers still apply an outdated Driving Law, which imposed the outer lane on a 2x3 motorway being used only by trucks traffic.

It's been years since the law has been changed to the more logical "keep on the right if lane is free", but only a few, mostly younger people, got the new rule.

So, since in the weekends freight traffic is not allowed, and the worst drivers decide to get on the move all together, any 2x3 italian motorway turns automatically in a "2x2 with overgrown emergency shoulder"

This is pretty annoying, of course: traffic is generally slowed down with no reason, and sometimes you see some absurd behaviours on the road.
If you're in the middle lane and are being overtaken, and in front of you a slower car is overtaking the air in the right lane, you'll discover that nothing, nothing can make that driver move away. You can flash light, sound horn, praise God... nothing. Probably they would not move even if kicked in the arse It's like the extra lane simply doesn't exist.
The air-overtaker will then reluctantly push himself to the edge of the middle lane, as if instead of the right lane there is a dark and deep pit. But just as a courtesy, ok?

Young people call it "the Shame Lane". I've heard that, putting your wheels on that, you'll get Ebola. Some say it will drain out your fuel tank. Some say you get a mandatory sex change, driving on it. Some say it is just a hologram drawn on the emergency lane.
Good Lord.

Sometimes you will feel the urge to overtake on the right, but please don't allow yourself. Chaos is not an answer to chaos.

The new Driving Law includes fines for those not respecting the "right rule", but nobody is really monitoring the traffic dynamics.
But since we are talking about Italy, we -of course- have found a brilliant backdoor solution!

Our Police say, on its website, that a special rule applies in this case. In fact, who wrote that has made a widely personal interpretation of a couple of rules.
Btw, the magic rule is: if you're in the middle lane and move right to overtake a vehicle, it is an effective overtake and you get fined.
BUT! If you are travelling on the right lane yet, and you meet a slower vehicle on your left, you are allowed to pass it without changing lane.

Crazy Please, don't ask me how you can determine "how much before" you have to move to the right during your travel, to be considered as "yet on the right", since I have no answer. Crazy!

Actually they're not so wrong: overtaking on the Shame Lane is much less dangerous than cutting three lanes to and fro. During the maneuver you have to carefully check the movements of just one idiot, instead of the whole motorway.

So, the standard arrangement of a 2x3 on a Sunday is: a crowd of cars tailgating each other, willing to go faster than limit but stuck in the slow jam, then a bunch of daydreaming middlestickers, and then me and some lonely trucker allowed to drive.


Our standard 2x3 motorway. Please note the non-existent safety distance.


Some weeks ago I was driving on the A4 between Verona and Brescia, on a Sunday afternoon, and I was the witness of a phenomenon too absurd to be real.

The cars on the left lane were so much, all willing to overtake everyone, that the lane started to slow down for congestion. And I mean - seriously slowing down, maybe at 80 km/h or so. In the middle, many middlestickers at 100-110. On the right, me and some others at 130 (the limit).

After driving many km on a so arranged motorway, I started asking myself if I had missed a junction and got on the UK M4 instead of the Italian A4


Anyway, so much text to say that Italians don't know how to properly use a motorway.
And on standard roads things are not that better, indeed.

Main problem is that the license is given to anyone, with no effort. Just ask and you'll get one, you can't fail even if you're blind. Because people MUST have the right to move around, and since car is the only solution, you cannot deny freedom.

Having probably the worst safety stats in the EU... mmh, who cares? I'm surely the next-gen Schumacher, get out of my way!


Points in real life / Points as perceived by the average driver.

Ability to control the machine: 2 / 4.
Obedience to basic rules: 3 / 5.
Amount of danger on the roads: 4 / 1.
Respect for unprotected users: 0 / 4.
Knowledge and practice of the Law: 1 / who?


And they want even higher speed limits.


God bless the truckers. Everyone blames them, while in fact they are the only drivers who know what they're doing, and driving on a 2x3 with trucks is fairly better.


I love to drive following safety and Law rules, but sometimes I feel like an alien down here

Maybe I can make some videos of a standard, everyday trip. Who counts all the mistakes depicted, wins a free walk in Venice. At least there you don't risk to be overrun by a car.


Last edited by Wilhem275; February 8th, 2010 at 06:18 AM.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #104
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OK, I've been lurking around here for quite a while, but now I felt compelled to register because of this thread.

Anyway, I currently live in Costa Rica, and the drivers in Costa Rica are beyond terrible. On a scale from 1 to 5, they get a zero. They don't respect anything or anyone. Most of the time, when in front of a traffic light, they creep forward in such a way that they're unable to view the lights anymore, which causes a short traffic jam once the lights switch to green (and they try to find the clutch and the stick to shift into first gear). I personally don't do this and simply stay behind the stop line until the light turns green, and people often start honking their horns at me because I don't do what others do. People in Costa Rica only shift into first gear at the last moment, which is another reason for the traffic jams in front of a traffic light.

On a motorway, they are either too slow or too fast. I don't mind fast people as long as they can drive properly and are sober, but they simply don't watch out for any hazards; and in the case of those who are slow, they don't go to the right lane (where they belong, as Costa Rica has right-hand traffic) and fill the left and middle lanes, forcing us to pass them through the right lane (vehicles that tend to jam up the motorways are mostly busses, small transports and lorries).

And to get the driver's licence, you have to learn a whole booklet by memory to pass the theoretical test. And even if you practice with a driving teacher (real driving schools like in Europe and the US don't exist at all), once you get to the stage of the practical test, you're at the mercy of government corruption. Some people may even get forced to pay a bribe to pass the test. In my case, I had to repeat the practical test because the first driving instructor said that I invaded a lane, even though the lanes were NOT properly marked (markings were so faded out, I couldn't see them) and because of lack of signs and markings, I didn't even know if it was a one-way street or not. At the second attempt, I got lucky that I passed because I was the last guy to do the test (and subsequently, the instructor's shift ended with my test). Being the last one and despite shaking out of fear that I may fail again (because of the prior test, where I actually drove perfectly), the guy told me that I passed.

The practical tests consists of an enclosed circuit, where you have to first drive between about four or six cones (at a distance of 6 to 7 metres each), then doing an eight with a Give Way marking and a Stop marking, finally concluding with going in a straight line in reverse. The second part is on the street (when you exit the enclosed circuit, there's a Stop marking that people tend to ignore and because of it fail the exam before it starts). Important to note is that automatic transmission cars are not allowed for the practical driving exam except in certain exceptions, e.g. physical disability. If you're not included in the exception, you have to do the test with a manual transmission.

Bottom line, you learn absolutely nothing during the driver's tests. Driver's Education is basically very rudimentary, if not non-existent. But I believe that even with proper driver's ed, the typical local attitude of not taking certain things seriously is still a reason why driving in Costa Rica can be an adventure, and why I give drivers here a zero. I personally try to abide as much as possible to the way people in Germany drive under the StVO, but even I get provoked a bit of breaking the rules a bit, particularly by my father, who doesn't allow me to even drive alone. He often demands that I drive as aggressively as he does, not allowing people any space, and he yells at me if I don't drive as he says. The only thing I don't have from him is the road rage, and although my father is actually a very good driver, his road rage got worse in Costa Rica, when he previously only sweared at idiot drivers, like I sometimes do. I'm by no means an outstanding driver (I'd consider myself more between decent and mediocre for German standards), but you can't blame me for making an effort to drive as good as possible.

Since Costa Rican driver's licences are not accepted in Germany, as once I'm in Germany, I can only drive another 6 months with my current B1 driver's licence (which is like the Führerschein-Klasse B in Germany) at most, I'll have to go through a proper driver's school or Fahrschule when I return to Germany in two weeks, and have sufficient money to afford going to driver's school (I still need to get a job before I can even think about it ). So, whatever you've experienced as far as horrible driver's is concerned, come to Costa Rica, where you'll see things that you never thought were even possible (at least as far as bad driving is concerned).
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Old February 9th, 2010, 05:21 AM   #105
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I can't really speak for Canada outside of the Maritimes, but people here are generally pretty good. I'd give them 3.5-4. When I think of what a good driver is, though, I'm thinking how safe they are.

When it comes to being an all-around 'good' driver, I'd give them a 3 at the most.

People like to drive ten below the speed limit or go exactly the speed limit in perfect driving conditions. This is very frustrating when most trunk roads and NS routes are only two-lane with passing zones. It's common winding up stuck behind somebody going 85-90kmph in a 100kmph zone.

People also like to brake when it's unnecessary. If you just skim through any of my driving videos, you'll see what I'm talking about. People don't seem to understand that the second you lift your foot from the pedal you'll start to slow down. Another thing they like to do is brake on the highway, which can be very dangerous. When you're going 100+ and so are the people around you, unless something is in the middle of the road or has jumped in your way, do not not brake - you'll cause an accident.

Still on highways; a lot of people fluctuate their speed, which can be even more annoying that driving below the speed limit consistently. Sometimes I'll be stuck behind someone going 90 or 100 only to have them speed up to 120, brake down to 110, go to 115 and then brake down to 90 again. And this goes on until I can get around them... I don't understand.

People are pretty good at signalling, but one thing I notice a lot (and I'm sometimes guilty of myself) is not signalling until you actually start turning. For example, at an intersection I'll indicate into the turning lane but turn it back off until the light turns green; unless I am the first car waiting to turn, I'll keep it on. Most of the time I keep it on the entire time, but sometimes if what I'm listening to is good or interesting the indicator can be annoying.

Generally on dual carriageways and highways, people will keep to the right letting faster drivers pass them and it's greatly appreciated when people are conscious of this. It's still common, though, to have people camping in the left lane going the speed limit or below, causing a backup of faster drivers who start getting impatient and try to manoeuvre, often unsuccessfully, into the right lane and back into the left in front of the camper.

When I see New Brunswick, PEI or Newfounland plates I know to stay away from them. Not to knock on people from those provinces, but Halifax is the biggest and closest 'real' city to any of them. When they come here they're often not accustomed to driving in a city and they don't signal, don't go the speed limit, don't know where they're going and randomly change lanes without looking at who's around them. I've noticed, for instance, that PEI drivers like to drive 10-20 below the speed limit - especially on the Halifax Peninsula. I don't know what it is with drivers from PEI, but good lord... I don't know how they do it.


One thing that I do like about the Maritimes and our drivers is that while there are a lot of idiot drivers, there are a lot more considerate ones. You never have to wait long to turn left across traffic because people will flash their lights at you, letting you turn. Often at stop signs people will wave you through. If you're waiting to turn to join traffic, it's never long before somebody will wave you in. When people block driveways or don't wave thanks to you or refuse to let you in, it's actually considered very rude. I've been told that to expect such treatment in bigger cities is craziness, so I'm glad that even though everybody on the road can be off in their own little world frustrating me by going under the speed limit,

The most annoying thing for me on the road is being stuck behind a left lane camper, seconded by those who can't pick a speed.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #106
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Ireland: 1.5

The main issues are merging onto a motorway, tailgating, blocking the outside lane on a motorway/dual carrigeway, front fog lights on in any condition, rear fogs on sometimes and driving over the limit.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #107
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Philippines: -1 (probably)

Sure there are good drivers that follow rules, are respectful etc etc......but these are less than 10% IMHO. For more than 90% of drivers here, you can expect all forms of disobedience and negligence:

-Certain ******* drivers who still go even at a fully-visible red light
-Certain drivers that do not stay on-course (as if lanes don't exist)
-Slow drivers on fast/passing/overtaking lane
-Fast drivers on speed lanes and emergency shoulder lanes (very dangerous).
-Most drivers here do not know what "YIELD" sign is
-Swerving (as far as moving from leftmost lane to rightmost lane & vice-versa; sometimes even without using turn signals, hand signals or indicators)
-A lot of drivers do not know how to use (or rather don't use) turn signals
-Public utility vehicles hogging the passenger terminals and waiting areas
-Tricycles and pedicabs that traverse on main roads (even when it's illegal)
-Certain drivers who do not use headlamps at all at night (especially the jeepney drivers); very dangerous safety hazard
-Public utility vehicle drivers that load/unload passengers EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
-Reckless bus drivers that race with other buses to compete in getting most number of passengers (and there have been a few motorists that have paid the ultimate price for their selfishness and negligence).

And the list goes on and on

Of course there are many reasons for this.....but imho, one of the main reasons lies in how drivers licenses are issued.

Heck a fellow pinoy SSC forumer was telling us in another thread on how much stricter the driving test in Dubai is compared to ours. He said that he actually had to take the driving test caused he failed even after three takes.

Yet when he took the philippine driving exam, he got a perfect score .

That and one of the driving tests here (hands-on) only requires you to:
1) Start engine of vehicle
2) move the car forward
3) Stop the vehicle.

And you're done

Or if you are really lazy, you can bribe the employees of the LTO and/or hire 'fixers' that will do all the paperwork and resort to cheating and deceit so that you don't have to take any driving exam at all (as long as you pay the fixers with good sum of money)

Heck, it's no wonder why there are tons of undisciplined and reckless drivers on Philippine roads today
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #108
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Switzerland I guess a 4,5 would do, the best drivers I've known so far. Thanks to radars and police around everywhere (really everywhere), the rules are followed by nearly all of the drivers, pedestrians and bicycles are respected, and the highways are quite relaxing actually. The big exception are rich guys who test their new Ferraris/Porsches/Jaguars on the motorways, they drive way too fast.

Germany 4, they're doing nearly as well, but as I see it, drunk driving is more of a problem there, especially for youth after parties.

Czech Republic 3,5. The improvements of the last years are enormous IMO, they have calmed down a lot and are now quite good.

Italy 3 Not as bad as everyone says, a bit chaotic but I didn't feel in real danger anytime.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newropean View Post
Switzerland I guess a 4,5 would do, the best drivers I've known so far. Thanks to radars and police around everywhere (really everywhere), the rules are followed by nearly all of the drivers, pedestrians and bicycles are respected, and the highways are quite relaxing actually. The big exception are rich guys who test their new Ferraris/Porsches/Jaguars on the motorways, they drive way too fast.

Germany 4, they're doing nearly as well, but as I see it, drunk driving is more of a problem there, especially for youth after parties.

Czech Republic 3,5. The improvements of the last years are enormous IMO, they have calmed down a lot and are now quite good.

Italy 3 Not as bad as everyone says, a bit chaotic but I didn't feel in real danger anytime.
Improvements of driving skills in Czech...? Really...?
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Old February 13th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #110
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I haven't seen crazy behavior due to Czechs yet. But I haven't been to CZ recently (apart from the quick tour to Cheb in August), but they drive normally in the Netherlands. Most Polish and Hungarian drivers behave as well. Of course there are incidentally crazy drivers, but you have those everywhere.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 01:33 PM   #111
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in HR we often make comments on PL, SK, CZ, H drivers. CZ are the best among them imo. the largest problem i see about them is they are too relaxed. like they think "so what if i overtake that truck on motorway with 100 km/h and make a row behind me". they never drive too fast here like for instance Germans do. the largest problem is they don't feel they could bother somebody with their style of driving.
probably because of slower driving i have noticed overaverage sudden and sharp moves with wheel.

i agree with Newropean about Italians - they are mad in cities, but on motorway probably i haven't seen better drivers!
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Old February 13th, 2010, 01:53 PM   #112
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I'd give 2.5 for Polish drivers. The situation has been getting better and better since last few years, but there are still many bad drivers. The main problem, imo, is the dangerous overtaking and excessive speeding. Most of our drivers are way too "wild". I also noticed that they behave way better abroad than in Poland.



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Old February 13th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #113
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To be honest, my personal multiple experince from Croatia is that despite driving 5% over the speed limit, I'm always the slowest making the row behind me. What I personaly feel is a major problem of driving in Czech is lack of respect => dangerous overtiking, speeding, sticking to the left lane. And also trucking since there are many not experienced yound truck drivers.

My most pleasant driving experience comes from Sweden... They've got "5" from me.

Denmark: 4 1/2
Germany, Austria, UK: 4
Czech, Italy: 3
Slovakia, Croatia, most of south countries: 2
Poland: 1 1/2
China: 1

I need to admit that I have never been to US, Switzerland and lets say Costa Rica on the other hand...
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Old February 13th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #114
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Last edited by X236K; February 13th, 2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: double post
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Old February 13th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #115
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About Czech drivers - I remember one funny situation. On Polish A4 between Katowice and Krakow, there was this old Skoda Favorit with Czech plates driving 100km/h (or even slower) on the left line for almost the whole distance (krk-ktw). A line of cars has formed behind him, all barely going 100km/h. Trucks were overtaking them at the right line and Favorit wouldn't leave it. Hilarious.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #116
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If I had to compare Czechs to Poles, I would say our southern neighbours are definitely more disciplined driving in their country as well as abroad. We, Polish drivers, are tend to keep to the traffic rules on foreign roads, not particularly on our own ones. Reason for that is a penalty's weight abroad, in particular when they are calculated in Euros and have to be paid for straight away. I do not know what is the base of the comments in Croatia, however can imagine there are not too high fines for drivers breaking rules in Croatia, what makes Poles plucky enough to drive over the limits.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #117
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New Jerseyites and New Yorkers are sleek , fast , ignorant , rude , drivers i know i just put down my 2 states , but thats the truth.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #118
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People in the UK are pretty good drivers. People do speed quite a lot, but no one crashes much...
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven View Post
Philippines: -1 (probably)

Sure there are good drivers that follow rules, are respectful etc etc......but these are less than 10% IMHO. For more than 90% of drivers here, you can expect all forms of disobedience and negligence:

-Certain ******* drivers who still go even at a fully-visible red light
-Certain drivers that do not stay on-course (as if lanes don't exist)
-Slow drivers on fast/passing/overtaking lane
-Fast drivers on speed lanes and emergency shoulder lanes (very dangerous).
-Most drivers here do not know what "YIELD" sign is
-Swerving (as far as moving from leftmost lane to rightmost lane & vice-versa; sometimes even without using turn signals, hand signals or indicators)
-A lot of drivers do not know how to use (or rather don't use) turn signals
-Public utility vehicles hogging the passenger terminals and waiting areas
-Tricycles and pedicabs that traverse on main roads (even when it's illegal)
-Certain drivers who do not use headlamps at all at night (especially the jeepney drivers); very dangerous safety hazard
-Public utility vehicle drivers that load/unload passengers EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
-Reckless bus drivers that race with other buses to compete in getting most number of passengers (and there have been a few motorists that have paid the ultimate price for their selfishness and negligence).

And the list goes on and on

Of course there are many reasons for this.....but imho, one of the main reasons lies in how drivers licenses are issued.

Heck a fellow pinoy SSC forumer was telling us in another thread on how much stricter the driving test in Dubai is compared to ours. He said that he actually had to take the driving test caused he failed even after three takes.

Yet when he took the philippine driving exam, he got a perfect score .

That and one of the driving tests here (hands-on) only requires you to:
1) Start engine of vehicle
2) move the car forward
3) Stop the vehicle.

And you're done

Or if you are really lazy, you can bribe the employees of the LTO and/or hire 'fixers' that will do all the paperwork and resort to cheating and deceit so that you don't have to take any driving exam at all (as long as you pay the fixers with good sum of money)

Heck, it's no wonder why there are tons of undisciplined and reckless drivers on Philippine roads today

Yip, I agree on the -1 and even then it could be less like -2 or -3. Having driven all over Metro Manila for a few months I am still amazed, shocked and dumbfounded regarding all traffic every minute I am in the car.

I have driven in countries thoughout Europe, North America and even Asia (Thailand, Taiwan etc) but Philippines wins hands down for the worst drivers.

No rule gets observed or is enforced and in fact the Police also don't observe any rules either.

Driving here has to be one of the scariest experiences you will ever have. It truely is wacky races with terrible, inconsiderate, kamikaze, selfish drivers along with loads of unroadworthy cars, buses and trucks.

It has to be seen to be believed and I literally laugh out loud may times as I cannot believe what I have just witnessed.



Beautiful country and really friendly people who morph into evil assassins behind the wheel
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-type View Post
in HR we often make comments on PL, SK, CZ, H drivers. CZ are the best among them imo. the largest problem i see about them is they are too relaxed. like they think "so what if i overtake that truck on motorway with 100 km/h and make a row behind me". they never drive too fast here like for instance Germans do. the largest problem is they don't feel they could bother somebody with their style of driving.
probably because of slower driving i have noticed overaverage sudden and sharp moves with wheel.

i agree with Newropean about Italians - they are mad in cities, but on motorway probably i haven't seen better drivers!
In Bosnia people also comment H, PL, CZ and SK drivers and they are often seen as a bed drivers, very reckless.
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