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« Surviving global catastrophesHow come...? »

Traffic laws, accidents, media and the average Jordanian

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Monday, January 28, 2008 3:44:08 AM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (11532) times

    • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.5/5 stars (71 votes cast)

    If you follow the Jordanian media for the past few weeks you will notice a trend. Conditions of the traffic, issues with the traffic, and the new traffic law that appears to be applying almost too harsh penalties on violations. Yet, no body is mentioning a number of more relevant issues that are being passed under the tables like the fuel hikes and the horrible condition of the actual roads and paved spaces in Jordan

    Few questions should be on the mind of the average Jordanian, and puzzles me personally! From the death of one to the many there are clues in this picture and I'm only questioning them

    There's no doubt that societies are ruled by an ever increasing group of ultra talented and ultra smart people. Their job in life is to ease the adoption of new and possible very negative measures viewed from their vision towards the future. But so many people question such wisdom, and consider the needs of the average person at a higher priority than those of the future. Who is right? Why is this paragraph so cryptic? ...

    The question that never leaves my mind is, "Why do we have to adopt such a comprehensive traffic amendment"? Why are we bundling everything in the same basket?

    A traffic infraction is not like reckless endangerment to up the penalties at the same time. Yet we need some solid rules for that!

    There are issues that take higher priority. For example, public transportation, needs to be held at a MUCH higher level of accountability. If it's not obvious at first glance why, then allow me to bore you with the details

    1. Public transportation affects more lives,
    2. the vehicles have higher capacities
    3. The vehicles are larger and can cause severe damage
    4. The drivers are required by the law to have a higher skill than needed for the average driver.
    5. The vehicles require a higher level of awareness and skill to operate
    6. it costs more to get licensed to operate these vehicles.
    7. Women can't drive them (just kidding to see if anyone is even paying attention)
    8. .....etc

    In light of these and other reasons, the natural conclusion here is simply, More rules need to apply to them FIRST!

    Public transportation vehicles need to be monitored at all times. The speed is not to exceed 90km in fair conditions and something like 60 in bad weather. That's just the tip of the iceberg!

    Penalties should vary from grounding the driver all the way to revoking his license with imprisonment and fine in cases where endangerment is involved (After getting a fair trial of course)

    But that's not the end of it!

    Companies have an obligation towards every passenger. They need to be held liable for anything that goes on their own property. This can start from mandating comprehensive insurance, all the way to suspending the commercial activity of the company. Again, with a fair court order in which they're allowed to appeal

    That's only the traffic part! But can be implemented as a first step

    The condition of the roads in Jordan is another matter, few sprinkles of water and the roads become slippery slope of death! Accidents shoot up and people lose their lives. Yet, I haven't seen a single study discussing this matter and finding solutions for it. [I hope mr Al fanek doesn't think this is a stupid waste of research money]

    Can someone also tell me why were some streets paved Roman-style running car's suspensions and tires? Just a thought that crossed my mind. Since last time I checked, horses and carriages were STILL in the past!

    As for the media, which appears to selectively pick a subject and focus on it, someone "raising the awareness" but mostly justifying or tooting the horn of how amazing the cadres handling the problem were.

    If you believe in causality, this is a big proof of it. The media is focusing the light further on the matter for a specific goal at the end. It can be any body's guess, but chances are, it's tooting the horns of how amazing the new law would be in THIS situation, you know "We told you so", didn't they?

    And now, the average Jordanian! Obsessed with the effect of the new law on their bottom line and take home income -as if- violating the traffic law is an everyday activity that is bound to happen.

    I'm not saying take the new law blindly what I'm saying is that we need to prioritize. Break the new laws into smaller easier to swallow chunks of RELEVANT things and do them in the order of priority. Someone missing a fire extinguisher is not as misbehaving as someone blocking the street! Or crossing a traffic light ... or worse endangering the life of innocent people.

    Traffic accidents will NEVER stop, this is a fact of life, but what we can do is support measures that will reduce them and make the streets a safer place for everyone

    Other Memories Documented on January 28
    « Surviving global catastrophesHow come...? »

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    • #1
    • hamza
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2008 8:13:00 AM
    Guys, don't listen to him. I managed to dig some dirt on qwaider and I discovered that his uncle has been fired by the traffic control department in Minsistry of Transport.

    Its ok dude. Don't take it personally.
    You can read about my uncle here
    Qwaider...
    everything you said is right....

    We can change the Law to punish, we can change the condition of the street trying to prevent some accedents,

    but if we really want to prevent, we must change the mind set of the society, and how they deal with a car on a street...

    in Jordan we are driving like we are guiding a horse through a desert...

    Also a lane only for women and taxi drivers will prevent lots of accidents  
    • #4
    • أنونيموس
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2008 10:13:02 AM
    Changing the "mindset" of the society isn't hard at all. All it takes is a couple of police officers to enforce speeding, seatbelt, etc tickets, and once people start to actually pay for these tickets and get into jail for misdemeanors rather than get them waived, they will start to behave. I think there are already plans to get that started really soon. As long as wastat and waiving things don't get in the way, it should work well.
    I don't know about women and taxis but i've been out with a bunch of crazy friends who obviously valued the thrill more than my life. I don't care how grannyish it makes me sound but driving like there's no tomorrow does not make you look cool. For them I suggest the government enhances Luna park rides :)
    • #5
    • Naryat
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2008 10:16:17 AM
    Well, there are few points here i would like to point out...

    First I am very much with you in what you said about public transportation... they, along with the taxis, are a major reason for road accidents in Jordan... and allow me to say that alot of car accidents in many cases occur because of a bus confusing the street by it's silly behaviours... they cause confusion and just go... rushing into streets without paying attention to priorities, surprising drivers by suddenly passing by their cars from the right fastly, racing with cars and suddenly stopping in front of them to pick passengers... the bad conditions of the vehicles they use, the exessive amounts of passenger they carry with no attention to the load distribution that might affect the vehicle's balance.... a long, LONG list!! From my point of view, the new low is even linient!!

    Second, cannot agree more about your point regarding the roads conditions!!! Some times in tenths of a second you have to make a choice whether to drive over a sharp edge deep hole in a highway and maybe break you car's axe or snubbers, or avoide the hole and get totally smashed by another car!! :-|
    المش عبيط
    We need a national effort on the scale of the whole nation. And we can do it. We need to embed it in our curriculums and in our songs and even folklore. We need to praise people who uphold the law, not the people who manage to find a wasta around ... we need to boost our integrity .... integrity ya 3alam!

    انونيموس
    I agree it's doable but it's a herculean effort, but it must be done. Getting rid of wasta is the first step as you have said
    And no Speeding and driving recklessly doesn't make one cool, you're right

    Naryat
    Exactly. your points are very important
    We need to overhaul the whole public transportation system
    we need to find a solution for our slippery roads
    hey Q great post :p! (i've been wanting to say this for a while)

    seriously, i agree with what you said. the traffic situation needs a lot of work starting from safer structured roads and the existance of pavements, which in my opinion is one of the biggest problems we have.

    one of the most important issues also is the condition of all vehicles on the street, and i mean all of them. if you recall the tragic accident about 4 or 5 years back of a petrol container that couldn't break on a slope and caused many people their lives.

    it doesn't take a genius to figure out what we need, it just needs someone with the intiative and the vision to take action.
    Yes Wonders
    And... It takes someone not to compromise the system by allowing wasta in these LIFE related issues
    toughening the punishments will only give more power to the traffic police, and we all know that more power means more corruption. The enforcment of existing laws, along side with toughening life threatning violations would be a good thing. It is a very complex process that will require lots and lots of efforts starting at schools and not ending with monitoring police performance to ensure that they will not use their power in unlawful ways.
    I agree Mohannad, but that's not all of it
    We need a comprehensive campaign nation wide that tackles all aspects, from awareness, to education to many other things

    The most important thing in my mind, is Prevention! Accidents will always happen, but prevention will go a long way
    • #11
    • Anonymous
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2008 8:28:17 PM
    Limiting the speed of buses to 90 km/h will not work. Doing this means Amman-Aqaba trips will take more than 5 hours. Are you willing to spend 5 hours in a bus in Jordan?

    What is very much achievable is installing programmable road signs on the outside highways (Irbid road, Amman road, Iraq border road), which notify drivers of dangers ahead and changes in traffic rules. I'm sure you've seen these on interstate highways in the US, they are very useful indeed and change the driving experience and the driver's perception of what he/she can and cannot do "under the law."

    For example, these signs could say:

    "WET CONDITIONS!!! SLIPPERY SLOP AHEAD. BUSES AND TRUCKS KEEP RIGHT, SPEED LIMIT 70km/h"

    or

    "REDUCE SPEED, SLOW TRAFFIC AHEAD, LIMITED VISIBILITY"

    This is what is desperately needed.
    I prefer to spend 5 hours but arrive ... alive!

    I do like your idea of having programmable road signs that give important information regarding road conditions.
    I think the tickets are long overdue particularily on cel phone use, eating and smoking while driving. I'm terrified when I'm with a driver who does this.

    It's our attitude qwaider, people don't stop crossing red lights until they put a camera there. It's just not possible to change our attitudes so we have to resort to such measures.

    About public transportation, Jad suggested hard wiring the busses and taxis so they can't speed beyond a certain limit. I like it!
    Amman is a city best enjoyed on foot, yet we plan our streets for cars. Amman City's streets are the soul of its neighborhoods and the pathways to it’s destinations. For generations, Jordanians and visitors have strolled, shopped and socialized on sidewalks and street corners. Pedestrian friendly streets are the city's most fundamental assets.
    Unfortunately, we aren't making the most of these assets. Instead, our streets are being managed almost entirely for traffic flow, with neighborhoods and business districts buckling under increasing amounts of dangerous car and truck traffic. If we continue planning our streets for cars and traffic, we will get more cars and traffic; conversely, if we start planning our cities for people and places, we will get more people and places. Streets are more than just car corridors; they are valuable civic spaces and resources that need to be wisely allocated. We need to start thinking about a campaign building the movement to re-imagine our streets as lively public places.
    Hardwiring doesn't work, it has been tried before and many found ways around it.
    I agree with you, it's the Attitude that needs to be hard wired on responsible!
    Amman voice
    Thank you very much for your insight on this issue. I completely agree with you on just about everything you said.
    Our streets have become hazardous for cars and pedestrians alike. Neither is finding enough place to do what they're trying to do.
    I think urban design needs to start picking up and rising on the national scale, what was acceptable and suitable 50 years ago when the laws were passed might no longer be valid or even possible.
    Thanks again for your view. I enjoyed reading it. I also enjoy reading your blog regularly
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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