Driving In Haiti

Let us explore the US Department of State’s travel page for Americans visiting Haiti.

They aren’t pulling any punches here. The first sentence consists of”Haiti is one of the least developed and least stable countries in the Western Hemisphere.”

Allrighty, well, how’s the crime? “There are no “safe areas” in Haiti.” Thanks State Department. “Reports of kidnapping, death threats, murders, drug-related shootouts, armed robberies, break-ins and carjackings are common.”

But by far the best part of this document is their section on transportation in Haiti.

Cars are supposed to be driven on the right side of the road in Haiti, but few roads have lane indicators and drivers use whatever part of the road is open to them, even if it is not the correct side of the road.

[…]

Roads are generally unmarked, and detailed and accurate maps are not widely available. Lanes are not marked and signs indicating the direction of traffic flow seldom exist. This lack of organization, along with huge potholes that occur without warning, may cause drivers to execute unpredictable and dangerous maneuvers in heavy traffic.

[…]

Although written and driving tests are required to qualify for driver’s licenses, road laws are not generally known or applied. Signaling imminent actions is not widely practiced and not all drivers use turn indicators or international hand signals properly. For instance, many drivers use their left blinker for all actions, including turning right and stopping in the road, and others flap their left arm out the window to indicate that they will be taking an unspecified action. Drivers do not always verify that the road is clear before switching lanes, turning, or merging.

[…]

Speed limits are seldom posted and are generally ignored.

[…]

Right of way is not widely observed in Haiti

[…]

Walls built to the edge of roads frequently make it impossible to see around corners, forcing drivers to edge their cars into the road at intersections to check for oncoming traffic.

[…]

In addition to vehicles, a variety of other objects may appear on the road in Haiti.

Sounds worse than LA.

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