In response to the two articles featured last week in Talking Point, entitled ‘Carnage on our roads’ (November 26) and ‘Dangerous driving’ (November 29), I would like to comment as follows.
As a recent settler in Gozo, I am appalled by the standard of driving in both Malta and Gozo, which the individual writers highlighted. Both articles hit the nail on the head by stressing the fact that the carnage and dangerous driving are almost totally attributable to lack of law enforcement.
To mention but a few things I have witnessed, the following are direct causes of the shocking driving habits that exist.
Stop and yield signs are merely an indication of what should happen but does not. Most people do not even slow down at either sign.
Speed limit signs are only a number on a pole or the road surface and are routinely ignored.
Nobody worries about solid white lines and blind corners.
Cars parked in ‘no stopping’ zones, again without any repercussions, cause traffic jams.
Nothing is done by law enforcement about poor parking/double-parking.
Drivers’ doors are opened without even a backward look in mirrors, possibly causing an accident.
Motorists drive in the middle of the road with no concerns to fellow road users.
If any Maltese driver were to do the things they do on an everyday basis in, say, any other country in Europe or the US, or Australia, they would receive a hefty fine from police officers but it seems law enforcement members know everybody, so no problems.
I have seen traffic wardens telling people illegally parked to move on and being totally ignored. It seems the only people who suffer are the tourists who drive rental cars and are not familiar with the ‘hidden’ Maltese road signs.
In conclusion, the only way to stamp this bad driving habit out is to enforce the law in a heavy- handed way by hitting these errant motorists’ pockets, hard, without fear or favour.
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