Serbian traffic: time for a change in mentality
I started driving lessons when I was 18 and when passing the driving exam I passed it straight away. This was in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1997 and since then I never drove again until the end of 2015 when I and my wife bought a second hand red VW polo. I took some driving lessons here in Belgrade to get acclimatized again with driving and I have to admit that I am enjoying driving. Travelling is much faster and we can go to places now much easier and even to places which were unreachable without car.
Summer started and people want to be as fast as possible on the beach or a nature park it seems. When last Sunday I was almost hit by a lady who was calling it was enough: I need to canalize my frustrations… The first step in this process is to speak it out, so consider this blog post as post of my therapy.
So it is very easy
1) When I am passing a truck/ bus or a slow Yugo car you don ‘t need to flash with your lights aggressively: when I passed the car/bus or truck I will go to the right and you can continue to drive 200 km p/h where 120 km p/h is allowed:
2) Your četiri migavac (alarm lights) do not give you right to block the road: while you are blocking the road you are creating a dangerous traffic situation.
3) If you drive an expensive car in Serbia you are most possibly fond of Germany and you know what? In Germany it is forbidden to pass a car on the right… guess what? It is everywhere forbidden also in Serbia.
4) More about that magic spot called ” right” : when the priority situation is not arranged by traffic signs cars coming from the right do have priority….
5) When you want to pass over a car you don ‘t do that in a curve or over a straight closed line (puna linija): you create a potential deadly situation when you do….That you endanger your own life I do not care, but he, in the traffic you are not alone and you do endanger innocent lives of other people…
Too many people die in the Serbian traffic (as we saw this morning again in the village of my wife, article here), 390 in 2015 which is 9.7 deaths per 100.000 inhabitants. In the Netherlands this is 3.9… Some of the readers I see already thinking: why you don t’ move back to the Netherlands ? Or ” this is Serbia” … Sorry that are no valid arguments or replies of course. I love to live in Serbia and although I am a foreigner here I think still I can discuss the negative things in this country.
But there is always hope: the Serbian police started a project to introduce permanent controls with cameras (link to the article in Serbian) . It is indeed time for a radical change in the mentality of Serbian drivers so that no more innocent children, mothers and fathers will be victims of traffic criminals. First of all more camera’s , more traffic police is needed to catch those traffic criminals. When caught those traffic criminals should not get away with a fine: no, at least their driving license should be taken away and only given back after extensive test with a psychologist. When he or she decide that somebody is fit again for driving he or she can get it back. If he or she commits again traffic violations he/she should lose the driving license for a while. I sincerely hope that it will improve…