Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Belgians can't drive properly: Police approve!

This morning, whilst crossing the 5 lane chaos that is Rue Belliard, just outside the parliament, I and my fellow pedestrians had a narrow escape when a taxi came hurtling through a red light and over the crossing. This is far from being my first near death experience on a pedestrian crossing in Brussels.

Belgians, generally, are appalling drivers. Belgian taxi drivers, however, make Italian drivers look good. They are rude, ignorant, dangerous, and they don't give a flying f*ck for other road users. They are totally reliant on GPS systems that they are too stupid to use properly, and they overcharge shamelessly. Change is something that has to be demanded with menace. I once got into a cab with a driver who took me for about 20 minutes in what turned out to be the wrong direction, before he stopped the cab and called a friend for directions.

Now I learn that BelgaPlod are actually incentivising bad driving. The Brussels police have announced that from now on they are only going to prosecute speeding drivers if they are going really really fast.

Belgium already has a disproportionately high accident rate, partly due to the appalling state of its third world roads, and partly due to the stupidity of the average Belgian driver. Once on a pedestrian crossing in a shopping street I was almost hit by a van. His head was tipped back, and he appeared to driving one-handed while he tipped the contents of a crisp packet down his neck. He was totally unaware of the red light he was jumping, or the pedestrians he narrowly missed. This is normal behaviour on the roads of Brussels.

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