Saturday, November 28, 2009

A bouquet you do not want to get.


Not a happy photo today. I took this one from my car, while deadlocked in a line of cars to cross a bridge I go over every day. Some sort of student protest caused a major jam.
It's the custom here to put flowers and even sometimes a little plaque or small monument where someone was killed on the highway. Unfortunately, you see these quite often.
Serbia has a high rate of car accidents relative to the overall European average, and anyone who has driven here will tell you that's for sure true. Authorities cite poor road conditions, lack of signals, poor vehicle maintenance, speeding, and drunk driving. Roads are often poorly maintained, especially in rural areas. During winter months, fog can obscure visibility while driving. The use of seat belts is mandatory, but not many use them, and the kids I see standing up in the rear between the two front seats make me shudder. A driver with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05% is considered intoxicated.

8 comments:

Glennis said...

We have the same custom, of placing flowers and sometimes a white cross beside the highway where someone was unfortunate enough to have met their end. Makes you think!

Thérèse said...

It is sadly the case over here too except for the road maintenance which does not seem to help reduce the number of accidents... especially when it rains. Everything can't be rosy every day.

Leif Hagen said...

A sad bouquet for sure! Sometimes we see them here in Minnesota, too. Your city signs along the road made me feel like I'm in Belgrade!

Gaelyn said...

I first saw this type of memorial with flowers, cross and shrine in Mexico. Now I see them way too many places around here also.

Jacob said...

Sounds not unlike the States. And as you know, people here also place flowers at crash sites where fatalities have occurred.

Paula said...

It's very sad, around here people put up crosses as well. I could tell a couple of really sad stories...

Alexa said...

Two words for you: Drive carefully! We do this in the States too—always heartbreaking to see.

Tash said...

So very sad. I like the signs though. I remember the 'autoput' being a one lane each way in the late '60s. Lots of traffic accidents there. We used to take our Fico (front door hinged at the back) to Novi Sad to see 'moju tetku od tate' via Ruma, and then take the long treck to Pula at beginning of summer via Zagreb/Opatija and sometimes via Ljubljana/Postojna - we'd stop for the best 'cevapcici & krompirici' ever at a roadside restaurant.

I think things are getting better here RE drunk drivers. At least it seems many teens (who are not supposed to be drinking anyway) do think about designated drivers. What I find scary is going 80 on bumper to bumper fwy traffic on freeways such as the 91. One little mistake by just one driver... I liked driving in New Jersey & Delaware this summer. The speed limit is 65 and EVERYONE sticks to it. I think Calif. needs to slow down a lot.