Saturday, July 01, 2006

Priority from the RIGHT

It was when the taxi pulled out of a side road straight into the path of another taxi that I remembered Norway still observes that piece of traffic lore left over from the days of the horse and cart, PRIORITY FROM THE RIGHT. No not a political statement but an archaic driving rule which the French discovered years ago was one of the main reason for the high death toll on their roads. I remember French holidays which were frequently interrupted by a screech of brakes and a mouth full of profanity, as a 2CV emerged from a side road without slowing down, looking left or kiss my a....! Did you see that the mad French bugger nearly wiped us out!!!! Well I have to tell you the rule is alive and well and living in Norway.

Norwegians have scant regard for traffic rules at the best of time. The fact that they have the right to dive out of a side road in front of you is almost classed as sport. The rule is bad enough for local drivers but if you happen to be a foreign visitor the consequences can be bloody. The matter is made worse by the absence of any reminder signs. Taxi drivers are particularly bloody minded when it comes to enforcing this primitive rule. It would no doubt account for the large number of cars with a a row of dents along the right hand side. You have been warned. end priority

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