Monday, December 04, 2006

The government-sanctioned Beep Beep culture

As I was on my way to work this morning, I realized that the over-use of horns is really NOT the fault of the people of Jordan. Not only do they not know anything different, but the government actually makes them do it. How's that? Work with me here... When you pull up to a traffic light in Jordan, you find they have not placed the light across the intersection where it is clearly visible to all nor put a big white line telling you where to stop. Instead they put the traffic signal itself on a post to the right (and left) on the corner. Thus, when you stop at the intersection, you can't see the light. As a result, you can't see the light if you're the first person in line. Sometimes they put a smaller light facing nearly into the intersection. However, that assumes that no one is on your right blocking your view and also that it isn't angled so much that you still can't see it. Unfortunately one of these two circumstances is very likely to occur. So, the reality is that if you are first in line the only real way to know that the light has changed is to wait for the honks of the people behind you. Now, if you think that honking is an appropriate way to indicate that the light has changed, this is bound to spill over. Why not honk if you want someone to know that you will NOT stop for them? And why not if you don't like where they are parked? And why not if you want someone to come out of their house (although 5 minutes is excessive)? In short, the horn becomes a communication tool rather than an urgent attention grabber. And, it's the government's fault...

Happy honking!


At 3:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The line that shows where to stop does exist, and once upon a time, it was a white thick shining line! It has disappeared by time with all these cars resting on it, just like the white lines that separate between lanes! :) but u got a point.

At 9:02 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

You know, in some places the line is still there. But if, in fact, you stop at the line, you definitely can't see the light... But, I suspect the last time the roads were striped (new white lines) was sometime in the 90s :).

At 10:40 PM , Blogger Dave said...

This is another cultural issue inherited from Britain. The British department of transportation aligned their traffic lights with the intersection, only to later realized the inconvenience of it and place additional lights across the intersection. Unfortunately, Jordan still hasn't realized how inefficient it is.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home