Sunday, December 05, 2004

Driving in Canada- how embarrassing

I'm tired of trying to fix this post. Here are two posts together. The first 10 or so lines are about posting problems and the rest of the article is about driving. I hope it's not too confusing.

This is not breaking news by any measure. I tried to post it last week but half the post disappeared. Something weird is happening with my link to a Canadian website.

Here is what it should be, sans links:

Below is an article from msn-sympatico.
MONTREAL (CP) - Canadian drivers who ignore red lights havegiven their country a reputation south of the border, where theU.S. State Department is warning Americans to drive through our green lights with caution.
This just after I complained about Korean drivers. Sorry guys.

Below you can see the link and quote are missing The links were to a sympatico news item and a previous post of mine. You have to do your own search, I guess.

Okay, here's the driving article:

Below is an article from complained about Korean drivers. Sorry guys.

Still, at Seoul's annual Townhall meeting similar complaints were made and a somewhat strange response given:

"Professional drivers [bus drivers] are the worst violators," said
Michael Breen, a resident of Korea for more than twenty years.
(I think this is the 'Breen' that wrote a great book on contemporary Korean culture; understanding and sympathetic but unafraid to describe problems. Find it here.)
"I have seen six to seven cars go through red lights without stopping,"
fumed another foreigner.
"This is more an issue of traffic culture than of systems," Choi Young,
director-general of industry for Seoul said. "We will talk to the police
and see if we can address the issue."

I feel I might understand 'traffic culture' but 'systems' in this context confuses me. The culture of driving here is the same as the culture of working: hard and fast, don't delay. Does system refer to the rule of law?

Returning to my original point; the problem in Montreal, Canada appears to be part of the system:
Local transportation advocates said Montreal may have attracted
U.S. attention because of lax traffic laws that penalize red-light
runners with little more than a ticket even if a pedestrian is struck and killed.

I think this may be worse than the 'cultural' explanation.

There's no patriot like an ex-pat patriot: come on Montreal, get it together so I can brag more about Canada.

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