WHEN THE ROADS ARE BUSY

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Is there a day in Bahrain, or the time of the day, when the highways and byways of the Kingdom are not busy if not clogged with vehicles? And if you add wet weather to it, the recipe for road disasters is ready unless each driver sets out from home with the honest resolve to follow the rules of the road and remain calm.

But remaining calm is not easy when the traffic seems to be moving at the proverbial snail’s pace, yellow boxes remain jammed and green lights at the traffic signal come and go with barely any forward movement of vehicles.

Whenever you face such a scenario, remember you had set out from home with an honest resolve and promised to yourself you’d remain calm. Therefore:

l Do not change the lane merely because the next lane is moving a bit more quickly. Remember that when the traffic is moving at the speed of a tortoise, everyone is on edge and few are willing to give way to a vehicle trying to squeeze itself ahead out of turn. And in the battle of wills [and wits] even a minor accident can put brakes on everyone’s hopes of making it to their destination on time.

When the traffic signal turns green but the yellow box is not yet clear, and you are the second in the queue, do not push or browbeat the driver ahead to enter the yellow box. A clogged yellow box means when the turn comes for the vehicles behind the next green signal to move, they will create a mess in the yellow box arena.

Do not unnecessarily press the horn or honk out of frustration due to delays or to provoke the driver ahead to move when there is little room to manoeuvre. A sudden horn when the traffic is on the move and there is no apparent reason to expect the sound of a horn can confuse or create panic in some drivers which may result in an accident.

Even if space and opportunity permits, do not jump lanes frequently, slithering like a serpent, to get ahead to catch that green light. That kind of driving is a sure recipe for disaster.

When the traffic is slow due to jams, do not be tempted to jump that red light, which was green just two seconds ago, to bring up the rear of a row of vehicles clogging the yellow box. The quicker the box gets cleared the better will be the all-round movement of vehicles.

Frustrating though it is to be confronted on a slow-moving road with vehicles emerging out of by-lanes to join the mainstream traffic, do not be mean and adamant in not giving them way. They also have to reach a destination so be gracious and let them pass.

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