Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Driving Rules for Moscow Drivers

As some of you know, I started driving in Moscow this year.  I have been driving since I was 14, so the actual driving here is not the difficult part.  Moreso, I would say it is the ever changing rules and the feeling that people are purposly trying to kill you.  A collegue just sent around this list of rules and I thought I'd share, so you too could have a feel for what it is like to drive in Moscow...

New guidelines for driver safety have been released for Moscow drivers. Please read and abide by these posted rules.

1. Under no circumstance should you maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you; the space will just be filled in by somebody else, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

2. The faster you drive through a red light, the less of a chance you have of getting hit.

3. Warning! Never come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No-one expects it and it will result in you being rear-ended.

4. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork, especially with any sort of "такси" sign displayed.

5. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a vigorous foot massage as the brake pedal violently pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it’s a chance to strengthen your leg muscles.

6. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It’s a good way to prepare other drivers entering the highway.

7. Speed limits are arbitrary figures; they are given only as a suggestion and are not enforceable in Moscow during rush hour, especially on the MKAD, where the maximum speed possible is 4.

8. Just because you’re in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn’t mean that a Moscow driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn’t think he can go faster in your spot.

9. Always brake and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire. This is seen as a sign of respect for the victim.

10. Learn to swerve abruptly without signalling. Moscow is the home of high-speed slalom-driving, thanks to the Department of Public Works, which puts pot-holes in key locations to test drivers’ reflexes and keep them alert.

11. It is tradition in Moscow to honk your horn at cars in front of you that do not move within three milliseconds of the light turning green.

12. To ensure the utmost safety, be sure to wear your seatbelt when driving on the sidewalk.

13. Remember that the goal of every Muscovite driver is to get ahead of the pack by whatever means necessary.

The Moscow Department of Motor Vehicle Safety

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