Posts Tagged ‘Motorcycle’

“Driving”?Well, no English dictionary definition of “driving” bears any semblance to what occurs on Iranian roads. All I can say is that driving in Iran has to be seen to be believed.  At roundabouts for instance, there is no give way rule that I could identify. Instead, it’s first come, first served and it took me a while to catch on that instead of slowing down at roundabouts and junctions, drivers actually accelerate just in case someone beats them to it. Once we had performed a few of these sprints without incident I felt a little more comfortable and it became quite exciting. I guess a bit like a day at Alton Towers without the upside-down-feeling-sick-moments.

Some of the funniest sights were the motorcycles and their often curious-looking passengers and cargo. Even though it is compulsory, the majority of riders and their passengers don’t wear crash helmets, only wearing them in winter to keep warm. Cargo included baskets of washing, boxes of grapes and water melons carried precariously under one arm whilst steering with the other. Very skilful. The most I saw on one bike was four adults but I am assured that it is quite common to see six. As one motorcycle approached I saw that the rider had clearly been to fetch fresh bread from the bakery and was driving home with the bread piled up on the petrol tank in front of him. He was tearing pieces off to eat as he drove along one handed swerving to avoid the potholes, pedestrians and other vehicles. I also worry about the women perched on the pillion with Chadors flowing behind-I remember reading about Isadora Duncan when quite young and the thought of a chador getting caught in the spokes of the motorbike wheels fills me with horror. It never seems to happen so they must know what they are doing and are quite happy to hitch a lift behind their man!

Quietly strolling down pavements on a balmy evening taking in the local sights can be alarming. Motorcycles treat pavements as their “hard-shoulder” and speed along “honking” you out of the way should you dare to wander down the middle of the pedestrian wayfare. Cars, bikes and buses often drive both ways down a one-way street. This can be very disconcerting when trying to cross the road and you certainly cannot rely on a zebra crossing for safety. Our taxi driver drove the wrong way down a one-way street because “it was the quickest way into town”!

Indicators are an optional extra and rear seat belts are only just becoming compulsory (April 2012).

Drive in Iran? You must be joking. Don’t do it!

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