Rules of the Road

Robin and I really enjoyed living in Mexico City. The only factor that made it easier to leave when the time came was the traffic. Even back then it was a constant nightmare. We liked to stay in town during Semana Santa because that was one week where you could drive around in style, speed, and safety. Shortly after we left, the City abolished the requirement of having to take any sort of driving test to get a license!

The LA Times has an article on driving schools in the D.F, that captures the flavor:

 Mexico City, a seemingly infinite maze of daredevils and incompetents, of axle-bending potholes and curb-hugging taco stands, of signless seven-way intersections and baffling multidirectional traffic circles, of tamale vendors on tricycles and cops hungry for bribe money.

 It also accurately describes the definitive Chilango go-to driving move:
 To threaten to change lanes with wanton disregard for the cars around you — essentially, threatening them with an accident if they don’t move — is to echar lámina, or throw one’s metal around.
Here are some of my now retired driving rules for the DF:
1. Never, ever use your signal for any reason (it just makes people even more aggressive).
2. Always remember that the person on the far right of a 5 car wide stoppage is probably planning to turn left.
3. The police are not your friends.
4. Go for the insurance company with the fastest, loudest motorcycles.
5. When (not if) you hit a bus or a taxi (I did this at least 3 times), 50 pesos will turn an enraged maniac into your long lost doting uncle.

One thought on “Rules of the Road

  1. I have lived in Mexico for almost 15 years. I have traveled around the country. My experience is that the further north you go, the more courteous the drivers. The further south, the crazier the drivers.

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