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TEHRAN’S TRAFFIC – by Reza Ganjavi
Iranians are absolutely the worst drivers in the world (perhaps the best technically) – specially some of the owners of new cars who are arrogant and think they “own the whole damn road”. In general Iranian drivers have no sense of responsibility, consideration, care, consequence, and sense of safety in general. Many of them tail-gate like there’s no tomorrow, go the wrong way in one-way streets, do not drive in their own lane, do not use blinkers, and barely stop at red lights. At the same time they have great skills in maneuverability. And the pedestrians are not much better – except for my mother I’ve never seen any Iranian who does not cross the street when the pedestrian light is red. Some of the motorcycles are the weeds of the street. They go the wrong way in the middle of a one way street. They are the worst of the unruly – don’t be surprised if one suddenly jumps in front of you. The misses are a matter of millimeters. Everything is possible in Tehran traffic – turn right from the left-most lane… There’s probably no moving-violation tickets given in the city traffic. People park in the middle of the bloody road. I’ve learned to laugh at it and it’s fun: driving in tehran is like bumper-car game – the idea is: don’t hit another and don’t get hit – no other rules apply. Iran has the least educated drivers of all places I’ve been to.
Most are shy to use a signal – they were probably never taught that to change the bloody lane you got to use a signal. 3 guys on a motorcycle with no headlight at night suddenly came my way – boom, baam, another successful miss!
A pedestrian was cooly crossing the freeway at night – we stopped for him but he wanted us to go first! I often give way to pedestrians and other cars which they appreciate and can’t believe – other times I am just like them otherwise you’ll never arrive.
The horn acts like a shepherd’s stick “stick in your own lane” – and also to announce your presence.
A damn motorcyclist polluted the entire sky and left a huge white smoke – is the police sleeping? Are there laws against these criminals?
The traffic cops often sit in their car on the side of the road and talk in their microphone: “go forward, faster”, “Peykan driver move”, “Taxi, pay attention”. 3 girls in all black outfit standing in the middle of the road blocking right turn – talking – it’s like “excuse me!! Can I get through?”
You really feel sorry for a pedestrian with leg problem who tries to cross the street.
A car was driving madly changing lanes like mad – suddenly it jumped on the right lane and put on the breaks – 2 girls were hitchhiking – another car stopped too – competition!
Most mini-buses are pollution factories.
The amazing thing is that there are very few accidents, but when they do happen they’re deadly.
X thought I am at the level of Formula-1 drivers !
Tehran is polluted – the vehicles are violently polluting the air I breath – the traffic is pathetic.
The Swiss man said he is very scared of the traffic – and his driver has learned to not go so fast.
Sometimes on freeway a jerk comes behind you and expects you to move over while there’s no place to move over… so just have to turn the mirror to the side and ignor his high-light.
It was amazing – the radio was playing a lovly mellow guitar music together with one-liner smart poetic sentences. The whole freeway drove calmly and for once I saw everyone moving in their own lane – maybe the radio had to do with it.
A pedestrian has no rights whatsoever – cars are stopped at red-light – you want to cross the street – suddenly a bloody motorcyclist jumps in the middle of the crosswalk and almost hits you.
The car jumped in front of me from a parked position – I: what is the signal made for? He: The mirror was also made - I saw you!
A motorcycle was carrying a big bicycle!
Asked officer: where is Behjat Abad? “I don’t know, should I lie?” :-)
I let other cars go and pedestrians have right-of-way – they can’t believe it – and I use my signal when changing lanes…
It is not at all unusual for cars to have no headlight or break or parking light at night.
I have seen many near-missed big accidents from cars jumping into motion from parked position without using a signal.
New car – licensed to speed and own the whole damn road – a brand new BMW flashing its lights going complete zigzag – every second a different lane in heavy freeway traffic.
There is no law until an accident happens. The only rule is: don’t hit and don’t get hit. Practically everything is possible. At some cross-sections even the green-light means nothing – and at most problematic intersections the lights are set as flashing which makes it chaotic like a gladiator fight.
A big truck full of iron with no lights was backing up in the middle of the freeway! Welcome to Tehran traffic where everything is possible.
The traffic is heavy as usual and has an amazing order within
A guy jumped in the middle of the street
maneuvering among oncoming cars to cross the road - I am too rusty for that but did a little bit. Although generally the absolutely crazy flow is without incidents, I’v witnessed several fights within a couple of weeks.
Some cars have interesting sayings on them. Aside from “Dark Side of The Moon” – saw : “FALLOW ME”, and “YAEMAMRAZA”.
Some people pass some redlights and don’t stop at some green lights.
If you have no fear you’re alright – you just move with the flow. The moment you’re afraid and make a jerky move you’re finished.
Most of the streets have 2 names: the new and the old, and many times it can be confusing as many people still use the old names…………
Suddenly a car passes you on the right with a distance of a single millimeter.
Suddenly at night a truck in front of you with no tail lights hits the breaks and turns left.
I am absolutely convinced that a large majority of the drivers do not know that the signal must be used when you want to pull over – and not just for turning!
It is very normal practice that at an intersection the car in front of you suddenly stops because if decides to turn left – with no signal – and blocks the whole what-you-might-call-lane.
Coming back from Karaj, late in the evening, there was a very horrible accident on the freeway involving several cars. Most of them were damaged very badly, and a few, specially the front ones were totally crushed – the passengers must have been juiced. The reason: Nothing but an easily preventable one – which makes it so very sad – where is the respect for human life?!?!?!!? There was construction on the right lane of the 2 lane Tehran-Karaj freeway – major construction with many trucks and workers. There was not even a single warning signal telling the drivers the road was blocked. So the first car arrived and suddenly saw the road being blocked, hit the breaks, and so on. Guess what: coming home we saw at least 2 more cases of road work with ABSOLUTELY NO signal warning the drivers from any distance. Only at the site of the construction – come on – where is the sense for safety – for responsibility?!?!?! The way to do it is to block the lane from akilometer away, put several warning lights….
A car from “Blood Transport Organization of Iran” was honking for passengers (doing taxi work).
No sign for major freeway intersection at the critical time when you need a sign (Hemmat going into Moddares South).
½ o a tunnel was filled with visible, touchable, thick air pollution.
A public bus driver was so crazy – a bus FULL of people – on busiest night of the week on busiest spot (near Park Mellat) – he’s pass the masses of cars by extending to left (illegal), and jumping back in – absolutely crazy…… - I called the number on the back of the bus to report him – it was a wrong number : not the bus company but the zoo!!!
All it takes is 2 women hitching ride by the freeway to disrupt the whole flow as cars compete for them
Car with no head or tail-lights passed the redlight at highspeed.
Back in Europe – on bicycle – feeling in incredible shape as far as maneuverability after having driven in Tehran for some weeks without any incidents.
2 lanes go, 2 lanes come. Both lanes blocked? No problem, he just took one of the lanes of the incoming traffic. Public buses do that too – the bigger you are the more cloud you have. A military car almost crashed into a car from recklessness.
Monday November 19 2001
By BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - At the factory that has churned out the little Paykan sedan for 34 years...
Automaker Iran Khodro Co. plans to introduce the Samand, or Tawny Stallion, next month. Informally, it's called the ``new Paykan'' - a sign that the humble workhorse of Iran's roads may be rolling into its twilight years.
``If we can produce a new car that has good results in the market, then we may start to phase out the Paykan,'' Farsayyad said.
The Paykan, or Arrow, is a four-cylinder time capsule. The design has barely changed since the first model was copied from the British Hillman Hunter, which ended production in 1979.
An estimated 70 percent of the passenger cars clogging Iran's roadways are four-door Paykans, which seem like shoe boxes next to the Buicks, Cadillacs and other pre-revolution American behemoths that Iranians somehow keep going.
``The Paykan is a piece of gold in Iran,'' said a guide after a plant tour. ``You can fix it easily. You can sell it anywhere.''
It comes in two colors: white and off-white. Don't bother asking for a sun roof, air conditioning or other options. Parts are available in even the most flyspeck villages.
More than 1.5 million Paykans have been made since 1967 and the round-the-clock assembly line currently pushes out 520 a day.
``No matter what happens, the Paykan will be part of Iran forever,'' said Hameed Leylaz Mehrabadi, a spokesman for Iran Khodro.
On the Net:
Iran Khodro Co.: http://www.irkhodro.com/products/paykan.htm
Wednesday June 27, 2001 6:17 AM ET
17 Killed in Iran Bus Accident
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A bus packed with passengers collided with a
truck driving in the opposite direction in central Iran, killing 17 people and
injuring 10 others, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported
Fourteen people were killed at the scene of the accident on the
Tehran-Borujerd road while three others died after being hospitalized, the agency quoted officials as
saying. It gave no further details.
Despite the construction of several highways connecting main cities to
traffic congestion, Iran has
one of the world's highest road accident rates, with some 200,000 accidents reported annually, IRNA
According to official figures released by Iran's Transportation
Organization, more than 15,000 people die
annually in traffic accidents.
Dilapidated vehicles, disregard for road regulations and insufficient
emergency road assistance are some
of the main causes of Iran's traffic problems, experts say.
Minibus Crashes in Iran Kills 19
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A minibus traveling along a road in Iran crashed
into a construction crane, killing 19 people and injuring five, the official
Islamic Republic News Agency reported Saturday.
The accident happened Friday night just north of the city of Damghan,
217 miles east of the capital, Tehran, the agency quoted police officer
Qodratollah Javidpour as saying.
Iran has one of the highest road accident rates in the world, with more
than 200,000 accidents reported a year, resulting in about 15,000
deaths, IRNA said.
Experts blame the high casualty toll on unsafe vehicles, disregard for
regulations and insufficient emergency services.
16 Die in Iran Bus Collision
Sat Feb 16, 2002 - 10:23 AM ET
TEHRAN, Iran - Two buses collided head-on in northern Iran on
Saturday, killing 16 people and injuring 27, the official Islamic Republic
News Agency reported.
The buses, traveling on the Haraz road north of the capital, Tehran,
plunged into a ravine after the collision, according to the report.
Rescue workers were hauling bodies out of the gorge, state-run radio
Iran has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world, with
more than 200,000 accidents and about 15,000 deaths each year.
Experts blame old and unsafe vehicles, disregard for regulations and
inadequate emergency services.
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