Stopping the flow
Traffic flow in Pattaya continues to degrade. The worst is at weekends, when mass muppets from Bangkok descend upon our city and clog up everything; but even during the week it is becoming more common to be stuck in a jam.
Key to the degradation has been the installation of more and more sets of traffic lights at junctions where everyone had been quite happy muddling along by using the usual technique of driving through at high speed and hoping everyone else gets out of the way. Sure there were a few major accidents and it takes a while for the blood to wash away, but not enough carnage to warrant bringing everything to a controlled stop by the use of lights.
Still, there was a small compensation for those wishing to turn left at the lights; you could do so provided the traffic was clear, even if the lights were on red. Very useful, and although some junctions prohibited the practice because you were likely to pull out into an eight-wheeled truck doing 140kph, you could happily turn left almost everywhere.
Not any more. Most junctions now have a sign prohibiting a left turn:
The purpose of these signs is not to improve road safety; they are to improve revenue. Arrive at the junction and it is clearly OK to turn left. And the cars behind you, who can’t see the sign, are sounding their horns telling you to get on with it. So you do, and out pops a policeman with a little pad and an empty purse. You’re nicked!
This being Thailand, I am ignoring the signs along with everyone else; but it’s only a matter of time before I am contributing to the coffers of the boys in brown.
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