Monday, June 04, 2007

Beware Mad Max is on the loose ...

According to the Jordan Times, 4 June 2007

"Last month, the Jordan Tourism Board launched a promotional campaign throughout the Gulf region. The campaign, which will run until July 1, is targeting potential visitors through advertising in various media outlets. An extra 700,000 vehicles are expected to enter the country this summer, more than doubling the amount of traffic on the Kingdom’s roads. In order to deal with the influx, much of which comes from an upsurge in Gulf tourism, the Traffic Department is implementing a number of measures, which include beefing up the number of police officers on patrol and using helicopters to coordinate the flow of traffic in the capital. Traffic Department Director Colonel Hamdan Sarhan told The Jordan Times on Sunday, the department also intends to clamp down on violators of traffic regulations in a bid to reduce accidents. “The traffic law prohibits such practices as smoking, drinking and using cellphones while driving, he said, adding that an advertising campaign will be run to remind people of the danger of such actions. Traffic accidents are now the second leading cause of death in Jordan, with one person killed every 10 hours and five children dying each week, according to recent government figures. Some 98,049 road accidents were recorded last year resulting in 885 deaths, leaving Jordan second only to Egypt in the Arab world for the number of accidents. The violation of traffic regulations, unqualified drivers, narrow roads,sharp turns,inadequate sidewalks and poor planning are the main reasons behind road accidents."

So this is the reason for all this 'Dubaying' of Jordan - tourism - for which Jordanians have the honour of dying for the cause at a rate of 1 every ten hours. I suppose we should be happy that the Treasury is happy.

And meanwhile back in Amman we await their arrival with baited breath and make plans to leave it all to them in the summer for the following reason … the arrival of reckless Saudi men (and Saudi women who just love the chance to drive 'blind' in someone else's country, complete with the niqab but minus a license!).

Despite the good intentions to educate our illustrious visitors on a better way to drive around the country, these brethren seem to think they live in a perpetual state of the 'need for speed' (along with quite a few young Jordanian shebab too) as they arrogantly push the Jordanian motorist off the road (and the odd pedestrian who dares to venture out for a walk along the road side).

The worst road of all has to be the airport road – our gateway into Amman.

And meanwhile, our beloved traffic police just cannot keep up as the worst offenders drive off into the sunset with that 'mad max' look in his eye. Have you ever seen anyone stopped for reckless endangerment, inside overtaking, or worse still inside overtaking on the hard shoulder, missing municipal workers by centimeters as they clear away the rubbish that gets thrown out of car windows on a daily basis? (Witnessed that one yesterday on the way home from Madaba – Saudi again!)

Glad to hear our beleaguered traffic police force is receiving an infusion of money and support - but will it be enough to reduce traffic congestion or road accidents, just in the summer? We need it all year round! And here's another suggestion to save some money,sell off those gas guzzling American police cars...for scrap metal...and make better use of motorbikes - just like good old Mad Max - and then we too may live to enjoy our summer in peace. J


Anonymous iMaD said...

How could Saudi women be allowed to drive in Amman? I thought they are not allowed to drive in their home country therefore have no driver licenses ?????

Tuesday, June 12, 2007  

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