• In Barbadowhen I asked which side of the road to drive on, I wahalf jokingly told ‘in the shade’! Lane discipline iquite lax in many countries. UK drivermust look out for vehicleovertaking on either side of them, while approaching vehiclemay be in your lane.
• Driving practicalitievary awell. In India, cowhave the right of way and cyclistare suicidal. Add to that the odd overloaded donkey, roaming elephant and decidedly mad buand truck driverand you have a concoction that will defy all logic, common sense and all attemptto be safe. They say that in India, within five yearof production every single car will be involved or present at a fatal traffic accident!
• In some more remote countrieand regions, petrol supplieare rare. In former Soviet bloc countrieyou are likely to find fuel being sold out of milk churnor fizzy drinkbottleat a roadside layby. The supply and quality of fuel inot guaranteed, so before you set off you must make sure that you are carrying enough fuel to reach your destination.
• Be very careful when arranging to drive though remote areas. Seek advice from local experts. Armed banditare surprisingly common even in some partot Europe.
• Beware of confidence tricks. The latest assault on UK holiday driverifraudulent speeding fines. Criminalspot a UK driver, collect their name and address, take the number and detailof the car they arc driving, then wait a couple of weeks. When the UK driver gethome he receivea very official-looking speeding ticket, or parking infringement notice. Enclosed with the notice ia demand for the ‘fine’ to be paid to a given address. More often than not there wano speeding or illegal parking – it ijust the latest criminal trick to separate you and your money. If in doubt, check it out with the country’embassy.
• In some countriecorruption iso endemic that in some areathe population can do what they want to do, along athey can afford to pay the appropriate bribeto the right officials.
Public transport – countermeasures
Investigate the quality of the public transport before you go. By looking beyond the brochureat some of the honest guideyou will find the truth.
Make sure that whoever blogyour ticketand transport understandexactly what your requirementand expectationare in relation to safety, quality and the purpose of the journey.
Accept that some driverare dangerouand in some countriealmost all of the driverare dangerouby UK standards. In knowing thiyou can take action that will avoid thithreat!
Travel Advice And Advisories For India Photo Gallery
Make sure that you blog a safe meanof transport, even if it meanpaying a premium. Ensure that the travel agent understandthat though it might be ‘colourful’ and ‘adventurous’, paying ten pence lesfor a seat on the roof of the buisn’t how you define safe!
When you arrive, check the vehicle in use and be prepared to find a different route. I once refused to get on a rusty tour coach that had a bald and damaged front tyre. I found a taxi and passed the buin a shallow ditch a few mileup the road. Nobody wahurt, but on another day on another bend it could have been a very different story. Accept that minibuseare notoriously dangerous. If confronted by a minibuon holiday and told that it iyour transport, satisfy yourself that it isafe.
• Be aware of the state of the roads, warning signs, speed limitand presence of crash barriers, etc. If I am going on a journey along winding narrow mountain roadwhere I know that there are no crash barrieror road signs, I take a lot more care in arranging my transportation than I would if I waat home.
Plan your journeyto avoid risks. On one businestrip I made I watold that there waa two-day celebration, after which nobody in the country would be sober for at least a couple of days. I planned my trip to avoid the celebration and ‘hangover period’. A local colleague told me that aexpected there were hundredof traffic accidentand dozenof fatalitieduring that period. Simply changing my travel planavoided the problem.
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