07 April 2008

Driving Distractions

I drove to the English service last night - and got stopped at my LEAST favorite traffic light in town. Now, there are several lights in town that are just never working and theoretical rules that are supposed to be followed at those intersections, when the light is not working (i.e. right of way to the person on the right...).

But what do you do when the light is sort of working, but wreaking havoc all at the same time? This particular light, going towards our house on the main road, shows both red and green at the same time. In the other direction, heading toward church, the light is red, goes completely blank for 15 - 20 seconds, comes back on red and after a few seconds changes to green. It never has a yellow cycle.

And you know, these lights would be nothing more than minor irritations, maybe a bit dangerous if you weren't paying close attention to what cross traffic was doing, and just typical of life in the capital of a developing country except -

- except - well, there are almost always police standing at this light and they can decide, on a whim, to stop someone who innocently runs it because they don't know its peculiarities. There really is no rhyme, reason or predictability to whom they stop. I know. Fortunately not from personal experience. But I now have had three different friends tell me it happened to them.

You'd better believe (since I'm STILL waiting for my replacement Nigerien driver's license... promised now for over a month... but don't get me started on THAT... *smile* ... or is that a *grimmace*) ...yes, you'd can guarantee that no matter how many angry drivers behind me honk on their horns when that light goes blank for those 20 seconds or so to pop back on red again, I sit there and wait........

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