Argentines loves running red lights

Bill

Registered
Just to explain the red light thing in BA a bit.
At an intersection on an avenue like 9 de Julio, when cars are stopped for a red light they start to leave the line when the opposite lights get the amber. Why? It's because they leave the line but don't actually cross the MIDDLE of the intersection before their light turns green, technically still not breaking the law. They're very careful about this sort of thing and have it down to inches. If you're a car at the front of the line and don't leave on the amber, the car behind you will honk.
The same thing works in running red lights in that if they get to that invisible middle point before the light actually turns red, it's ok. What we might call running a red they'd call running an amber. There is a method to the madness and it's all about going as fast as you can and pushing the limits. Talk to a taxi driver about these things and they'll rattle off plenty of unwritten rules which all drivers are expected to just "know" from living there all their lives.
A key point in this is that these streets are straight through with no left turns. The pedestrian lights are also timed to be slightly less than the traffic lights, so people should be out of the crosswalks in time. The basic rule as well is that motor traffic has right of way no matter what, unlike how it might be in other countries. If a light turns green (or amber), you better not be in the way. Also, whoever is bigger has right of way and Buses have open access to the right lane no matter what.
 

Mike1

Registered
"ghost" said:
Driving here is no different, if not, worse than driving in NYC. I have a car but I'm traveling by colectivos & subte when I'm in Capital. For long distance driving, it's a bit more like driving through Canada, most rutas have 2 lanes going in each direction and sometimes no shoulders or medians. Argentine drivers are definitely more agrressive than NYC drivers. I'm quite surprised that nobody has gotten out of their cars and started trading blows like they do in NYC or has taken their guns out like Los Angeles. You could say that it's a different kind of road rage. =)


You have to be kidding.
I have lived and driven in both LA and NYC and neither, under any circumstances is even close to the danger of driving in BA.
Red is never a caution. Red means full stop. Argentines invent rules to compensate for stupidity, ignorance and lack of care. You can't rack up the world's number one death toll per cap without those 3 elements in play.
Yes, driving in Argentina is crazier than driving in NYC or LA, but then again, there are no high speed chases or freeway shootings here either. I was on the chopper in LA covering a few high speed chases in LA and it's quite frequent there as well. If driving in Capital Federal scares you, try driving in La Plata, there's no yield at intersections, people drive fast, and do not stop either.
 

ghost

Registered
"Mike1" said:
Driving here is no different, if not, worse than driving in NYC. I have a car but I'm traveling by colectivos & subte when I'm in Capital. For long distance driving, it's a bit more like driving through Canada, most rutas have 2 lanes going in each direction and sometimes no shoulders or medians. Argentine drivers are definitely more agrressive than NYC drivers. I'm quite surprised that nobody has gotten out of their cars and started trading blows like they do in NYC or has taken their guns out like Los Angeles. You could say that it's a different kind of road rage. =)


You have to be kidding.
I have lived and driven in both LA and NYC and neither, under any circumstances is even close to the danger of driving in BA.
Red is never a caution. Red means full stop. Argentines invent rules to compensate for stupidity, ignorance and lack of care. You can't rack up the world's number one death toll per cap without those 3 elements in play.

Yes, driving in Argentina is crazier than driving in NYC or LA, but then again, there are no high speed chases or freeway shootings here either. I was on the chopper in LA covering a few high speed chases in LA and it's quite frequent there as well. If driving in Capital Federal scares you, try driving in La Plata, there's no yield at intersections, people drive fast, and do not stop either.
What you say is true. Not right, but true. And in this case what is right is STUPID and stupid is what scares me.
 

TangoCaz

Registered
Count your blessings that Argentinians drive on the right side of the road. Driving in Bangkok is far worse than in Buenos Aires, where the drivers are just as bad, if not worse than the Argentinians. What is worse is that most of Asia drives on the wrong side of the road which makes for a terrifying, yet exciting, ultimate driving experience...without having to buy a BMW.I like driving in BsAs. I just have to get use to the different set of road rules like no turns on one-way streets during a red light.
By the way, why is it that you can't turn at a red light onto a one-way street?
 

soulskier

Registered
You can't turn right on a red because it goes against all of what Argentine culture stands for, it is too efficient.
 

:::rain:::

Registered
I remember driving for the first time on Libertador and following the curvy lanes. Big mistake. I was almost taken out by the crazy taxis like 8 times.

Sooo yea, driving on Libertador? just go straight or you'll be creamed.

The one thing I notice the most, is people are SUPER impatient. I make trips from Mar del Plata to BA quite often and boy on the highway if you dont get out the way (even if your overtaking), people will tail gate the hell outta you...and at 140 !!
 

criswkh

Registered
The first time I drove to work from Olivos to Quilmes..I was like do I really want to have a death wish. Now, everyday it feels like the cars just free flow. The road rage isn't as bad as the States. They get upset with you and then laugh it off. Rain, if you are commuting to Mar del Plata in the morning, sorry if I might have tailgated. I Although, in Jan.2009 Argentina will now have point system for drivers. I posted a thread about this point system. How will it affect international drivers license?
 

:::rain:::

Registered
criswkh said:
The first time I drove to work from Olivos to Quilmes..I was like do I really want to have a death wish. Now, everyday it feels like the cars just free flow. The road rage isn't as bad as the States. They get upset with you and then laugh it off. Rain, if you are commuting to Mar del Plata in the morning, sorry if I might have tailgated. I Although, in Jan.2009 Argentina will now have point system for drivers. I posted a thread about this point system. How will it affect international drivers license?

LOL...no worries, you could say its a way of life now.

The most I've heard of this points system is all the protests that went on in BA with the taxi drivers...their obviously not too happy about it. I think something should definately be done to try bring the amount of accidents on the roads down.

But at the end of the day its all about enforcing new rules...laws...the police need to do their part. In Miramar everyone drives motorbikes with out using a protective helmet and some with three kids on the back. I criiiinge!!
 

jedard

Registered
I would like to offer my version of this extreme violation of traffic laws.
Drive to Arrive Alive is not something 90% of those Argentine's who have cars practice.
I live in Cordoba but drive almost everywhere.
Lets be honest here. There are laws in place to govern the use of vehicles on all roads in this country.
As I said there are laws but they are not only ignored but rather not supported by the police. anywhere.
For example, you can drive without a safety belt on in a city, but go on a highway and you will be stopped at a checkpoint and given a fine. Motorcycles are explicitly ignored. You can see any any given time up to 3 persons on such a vehicle and I have seen 5 one time.
Many are not licensed and many of the drivers are not ever old enough to drive.
Passing on a hill, 90 degree turn or blind spot is acceptable. Passing on the right is acceptable and in a 2 car lane it is common to see 3 cars or these assholes passing on a motor bike between two cars with 2 feet of space.
Perception. well they have none at all. You look behind you and you can see the dimples on the driver.Speed is the most important factor to them all.
These morons have no respect for there life let let alone yours.
On the highway I travel at a constant 90 to 100 KPH. I have learned by experience that this speed will save your life when one of these terminators/road terrorists are coming right at you. At this speed you can take the side without killing your self.
As for getting rough with these shit heads. Dont bother. Like LA, MIA or NYC many now carry some kind of weapon.

Stay cool, let them do there deadly game. It is part of the master plan of the government of the day to control over population.
The laws are made by those in charge and if they do not want to administer it , then keep cool, or take the bus, taxi, train. subte or walk. Even then your chances of getting killed here are open for discussion.
Salud
 
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