A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

“don’t block the box”, updated

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 1, 2008

While I was on my way back home yesterday, the US Embassy in Syria sent another warden message, with an update on the new traffic regulations. At first I thought it meant that Syria’s Ministry of Transportation reads my blog, but my better self tells me not to be so vain: the update was more likely mere coincidence.

Here is the update, for those of you out there getting ready to try your skills on the Syrian autostrades:

Additional Penalties

The following additional penalties have also been enacted:

· The “black box” speed governors are mandatory for public transport, small and large trucks.

· If someone is killed because a driver is violating the new traffic laws, that driver will be imprisoned for between three months and one year; will be fined between 50,000 and 100,000 Syrian lira; and will be banned from driving for two years.

· If a driver leaves the scene of an accident, speeds more than 40 km per hour over the designated speed limit, or drives without vehicle plates visible, that driver will be imprisoned for between one and three months; will be fined 25,000 Syrian lira; will have the vehicle seized by authorities; and will be given 16 points.

· If a driver leaves a vehicle parked on railway lines, allows materials to fall from a vehicle on public roads, or fails to have appropriate documents for Special Vehicles, that driver will be imprisoned for between ten days and seven months; will be fined 15,000 Syrian lira; will have the vehicle seized by authorities; and will be given eight points.

The only “black box” I’ve ever heard of is the one installed in airplanes – but I like the idea of “speed governors”. I wish there were black boxes for “lane governors”, “honking governors” and “parking governors” as well!

As for the apparently numerous drivers who choose to park on railroad tracks, I think remedial courses in basic logic might be more appropriate than imprisonment. Yes, I know that Syria only has one active train line – but still. Those who park on railroad tracks, like those who park in New York’s bus lanes, should enjoy their just desserts. Smashed-up car fondant with a creme chantilly fine, anyone?

2 Responses to ““don’t block the box”, updated”

  1. Tantalus said

    I’ll have a double serving while they cook up something for obsessive-compulsive honkers!

  2. Michel said

    Three Lebanese cheers to the Syrians, “TOOT TOOT TOOT”

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