SeSam.hu

SeSam is Péter Szilágyi, Engineering Manager at Ustream, residing in Budapest, Hungary. This is his playground.

We drive like we smoke

Angelday wrote about – he feels – unfair fines he had to pay for breaking traffic regulations. The post and the comments just strengthened my belief that traffic morale is catastrophic in Hungary…

When I was home for the summer I heard in some TV programme that most drivers in Hungary use driving as an outlet for their frustrations. It is actually fashionable to ignore traffic rules and especially speed limits. After all it makes a good topic for conversation to brag about the speeds and times reached during various routes.

I try to drive as much as I can when I’m home. I spend most of my driving time on Route 4, one of the most notorious ones for accidents. The bad statistics are understandable considering this is one of the only regions of Hungary without a highway. We have to make do with Route 4’s two lanes.

Most of time time I get taken over within city limits (the road rarely bypasses towns and villages). People don’t like slowing down just because they happen to drive through a populated area. Taking over is like a fetish. If the car in front of you is older, less expensive, or if it’s a woman or old person driving, or if you feel like it, you must take over.

And when there’s an accident the one who who dies is not the one who caused it.