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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Qatar crashes

Until 1971, Qatar was a part of the British Empire. The period under British rule seems to have left no legacy of bitterness. Indeed, there is even a certain respect for the British. This is despite the fact that the British are responsible for the relentless and continuing slaughter of Qataris and other residents of Qatar.

The seemingly innocent means of death and destruction is in fact that seemingly innocent means of mass destruction, the British roundabout.

Qataris, many of whom were Bedouin whose tribes, not so long ago, rode regularly to battle against one another with little fear of death, have transferred their recklessness to roads. However, it seems that riding camels across the desert does not prepare one adequately for the intricacies of the British road system. For a start, if you were on a camel, right of way was decided by who didn’t die first. A similar system works on Qatar roundabouts.

It was, I have been told, a British road safety team that advised Qatar to put policeman on the roundabouts during rush hour (although they forgot to mention training them to give clear signals). The British also advised them to dig the roundabouts up and replace them with traffic lights. So, in addition to all roundabout fatalities, we also have the British to blame for half of these interminable road works. Furthermore, it seems we have neglected to tell some of the drivers that red means stop.

If you’ve read our articles on driving, you’ll know that we don’t think Qatar is quite the safest place for driving in the world. If you don’t agree with us, try looking at these videos of accidents on You-tube. (Warning - some are not for the faint hearted! And no, I’m not blaming the sand-dunes on the British.)

Lonely planet crash

Head on crash

Dune bashing goes wrong

Also see:

Driving in Qatar: Practical information

Driving: Qatar style


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