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Pelican Waters QLD - Safety and Security
Policing Matters - Senior Constable Peter Dickens

Driving Nairobi

Have you ever wondered whether we have too many rules and regulations when it comes to driving our vehicle on our roads? Wear a seat belt, don’t talk on your mobile phone, don’t overload the vehicle with more than its legal seating capacity, drive within the lanes and no persons permitted in the rear of utes, just to name a few.

A recent visit to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city in Africa with a population of approx 3 million people opened my eyes during a white knuckle ride through this city in a Nissan van.

As I sat in the front passenger seat I buckled my seatbelt but was informed by the driver, “no need to worry about that only if a police man stops us.” My safety was my first concern and the seatbelt remained fastened.

As we commenced our journey through town our first roundabout which was choked with cars all of which appeared to be seeing who could carry the most people.  What was a two lane roundabout suddenly became four lanes and the rules relating to the proper use of roundabouts did not apply. It was a case of survival of the fittest. 

The first rule was if there is a space then the vehicle will fit and even if it doesn’t, it will.  Everyone was on their mobile phone, even the guy sitting on the roof of one vehicle as his mate had hold of him as the rear buckled wheel made his ride even more challenging.

There were a few positives that I did notice through this chaos was the lack of road rage. Motorist would sound their horns frequently but this was not an abusive gesture, it was a signal of courtesy to other motorists for allowing them to push in.

Another positive was that all drivers practiced defensive driving.  Motorists drove their vehicles in a manner whereby they expected the unexpected which was probably more a case of necessity if they wanted to avoid having an accident.

Upon returning to the coast it was a pleasure to resume to normal driving conditions and having some faith in fellow motorists that they too were capable and considerate drivers.

The road rules are made for every ones safety and driving pleasure.  Ignorance of these rules is no excuse and could result in a fine and loss of points.

Senior Constable Peter Dickens

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