Saturday, February 16, 2008

One thing we will NOT miss about Cairo

A friend sent me this photo of a traffic accident on a bridge we use here in Cairo. There was supposedly, at least one fatality - a pedestrian who was, as very typical, wandering across heavy rush-hour traffic. Looking at some of the 13 cars that ended up behind the first car, and knowing that very few people wear their seatbelts, knowing that there is no such thing as 911 emergency response, and getting to the hospital involves being thrown into a car or other nearby vehicle and driven by civilians.. I would be surprised if there had not been other fatalities as well. One good thing to see in this photo was that some of the hardest hit vehicles appear to have been more modern cars (and bus), and therefore, safer. (Of course, if you don't wear your seatbelt...) Many of the vehicles on Cairo roads - most of the taxis and minivans - are very old and look as if they would have made the Yugo look like a high-end car even if new.

People ask us why we do not go out and about much in town. Well, we'd love to! But, if we cannot be guaranteed a safe ride - say, in our own modern SUV with seatbelts and airbags (which cannot happen all the time because parking can be a challenge), or, in the modern car our driver uses, then we really do not want to take a chance with our lives. We have only ever let the kids ride in taxis if there are no other alternatives. There are thousands of traffic fatalities here annually, we are working hard not to be one of them.

I was looking for a news article on this accident which happened on 12 Feb, but found only this one from the 7th: accident article

Some articles on Egyptian traffic:
Egypt, US work together..
Traffic from an Egyptian police point of view
Article from al-Ahram
Travel guide about driving in Egypt
Traffic, to help you understand Middle Eastern democracy

1 comment:

Christine said...

Oh my! That is why I would be afraid to drive in another country. I know it happens here too but at least I'm familiar with the driving rules here!