Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shrinking Jordan

In another example of using media to hype bad policy, a number of traffic accidents in the last months have been used as a pretext to keeping the temporary traffic law on the books. This, despite the fact that the lower house of parliament rejected this legislation.

Now, the 80km drive from Amman to Irbid takes about 1 ½ hours. The highway has no less than 6 patrols looking for speeders. Most of the road has speed limits set at 80 or 90 km per hour.

Now, in principle there should be no objection to controlling speed. However, the speed limits are much lower than any reasonable driver would feel comfortable adhering to. To be blunter, one feels like an idiot driving at 70 km per hour on some of the stretches. It is obvious that these limits were not placed based on consideration of road conditions, but were set simply to entrap drivers.

In the final analysis, this short lighted approach of money grabbing will lead people to restrict their travels outside Amman to the bare minimum. The fines are too high and the limits are too low and the road has become too unpleasant. In the final analysis, this will lead to even more isolation for cities outside Amman. Who needs to leave Amman and invest someplace else anyway?


At 8:40 PM, Anonymous R2D2 said...

WOW..what analysis !!! You are a freakin' genius ...

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Ola said...

Khalaf, no one adheres to those laws. Ok, let's not generalize. How many people adhere to these laws even with the high fines? It's true that the government is a blood sucking monster, but this is the only case where I can't object, because it seems like the only desperate way to get Jordanians to drive safe... No one will stop traveling between cities, I think it's a farfetched possibility. Riding a car in Amman streets is like riding a freakign roller coaster.

But I gotta ageree with you, 70 mile/hour on a high way is rediculous...

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous mab3oos said...

It is a source of income for the government. How else would they pay for members of parliament travels abroad?

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous bani zbaleh said...

Once more, our government comes out with regulations that gnaw off a little more from drivers’ rights. Just as ridiculous it is to blame a driver because some child fell off the 17th floor and landed on his or her parked car, so too is placing minimal speed limits and outrageous fines. Drivers simply cannot drive at turtle speeds nor can they predict the move of EVERY person in their vicinity.

The driving legislation should be completely re-structured. Why not implement laws like those in Europe? The government should implement efficient speed limits and fill streets with VISIBLE pedestrian crossings the way it fills its pockets with tax money. Then, if you run down a pedestrian on a zebra-crossing, you would spend the rest of your life chatting with prison walls. And, if you run down a pedestrian away from a zebra crossing, you would have just made a generous contribution to reducing our exploding population. I guess this would make all parties happy, except the government. This means shit will keep happening for a while and sensible drivers will keep paying the price for undeveloped laws, all because of our government’s lust. I say, drive a bike and enjoy the ride.


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