The Lane Experts…

The traffic situation seems to be just getting worse and worse. I think Kishore has pointed out that people are dying, and that people are not following the rules. When will this end?

The other day, I received an email about a girl who died in a car crash in Athaiba. Apparently, she was driving the wrong way on the beach road. She left the aviation club side road, got onto the highway going to seeb, but drove back to Athaiba. She came across 3 cars, 2 managed to avoid her and the third hit head on. How is this even possible? The road systems should be designed in a way that does NOT allow people to get onto the wrong sides of the highway, shouldn’t they?

Last week, I tried to go from qurum to hail; it took me one hour and thirty five minutes. There was a major accident next to City Center on the road coming into Muscat. The road was backed up to just before the airport on the other side. There was nothing left of the car. On the other side, the road was backed but to AlKhoud. The police were trying to get traffic off the highway. I have seen that happen before. I thought this one was the Mother of all Traffic Jams.

Earlier this week, a large trailer truck turned over opposite GMC in the morning. The road was backed up bumper to bumper all the way to the airport, and then again from burj al sahwa to the bahja junction. I guess I was wrong before, this one is the Mother of all TJs. Why trailer trucks are even allowed on the highway. Now, at least we have the radio people telling you where traffic is bad and where its not. Sometimes they are very well informed, and sometimes they are just making the whole thing up. One good thing about the traffic is at least no one can speed and have another major accident. Another good thing is being able to see things that are around you. You can see stuff that you don’t usually see. You start noticing how the same area is spelled 3 different ways and those radar cameras up close don’t look so impressive.

On the other hand, one of the main problems I have with traffic jams in that there are too many Lane Jumpers. These are the guys that are always looking for the better lane. They are never satisfied with the lane they are in and always have their eyes on other people’s lanes. They jump from one lane to the other thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can get into that spot over there. No wait, maybe this spot. Wait, my lane is now moving, maybe I should stay here. Some of these guys are so smooth at changing lanes that you don’t know where they come from and you suddenly find them slipping ahead of you. They sneak in on you just when you are not looking. But don’t worry, they cannot stay there, they cant… the itch is too strong… As soon as they are in front of you they start evaluating the lanes again. Because of these LJs, we start having Lane Protectors (LPs). These guys would rather die than let you get in front of them. One technique they use is that they avoid eye contact with you so that you cannot convince them to let you pass. They will crash into you before letting you get in front.

On the morning of the trailer crash I was joining the highway just after Ghubra, coming out of the Al Maha gas station onto the highway. I needed to get to the airport and wanted to get to the far left lane (fast lane). This would mean that I have to get into the right lane first and then make my way across the highway to the left lane. Guess what? No one wanted to let me in to begin with. And they kept ignoring me. One guy almost ran into me just not to let me in. I put down my window and spent 2 minutes trying to get him to look at me. HE WONT EVEN LOOK MY WAY!! Finally I got his attention and pointed at the far left lane. I had to reassure this guy that was not interested in getting front of him; I just wanted to pass into the lanes beyond him. I was so tempted to stay in front of him when I got in. Now I had to people in the middle lane were not letting me in. it took me around 7 minutes to get to the fast lane.

In these 7 minutes I have been stereotyped as a Lane Jumper … and now that I am in the lane that I aimed at being I feel protective over it… I don’t think I have been happy getting into a lane before… I really felt I achieved something…. I sat there smiling to myself…. I like this lane and I will protect it!

I was forced into taking sides… I am an LP !


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