I had three people send me the same link to the same article by e-mail. So I think I will talk today about a subject that has irritated me since I have started driving in Russia almost 4 years ago… (Driving on the wrong side of the road!)
Lets start with the article:
MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) A video recording has appeared in the case of a car accident involving the chauffeur-driven Mercedes of a vice president of Russia’s largest independent oil company, LUKoil, that resulted in two deaths.
Yes the “the chauffeur-driven Mercedes” in the article was a Blue Light car and while I think that the people driving and riding in these blue light cars are a huge issue. I think that the blue light is just part of the problem…
Lets back pedal first: When I first started to drive in what I call the “everyman for himself” driving experience in Russia! It was only the fact that I had been taught from a very young age to drive defensively that I survived.
Driving defensively is not in a Russians vocabulary. So I had to learn about how to drive in a very aggressive defensive mode, to survive the offensive driving that I was encountering everyday on the wild-west streets of Moscow and Russia.
That said, lets talk about what I call the K-mart “Blue Light Special” for important Powerful Russian
Rejects! What is a blue light? Good question! (Try this – Link
Svetlana and I have come close to being wiped off the road 5 times by a “Blue Light Special”. But that pales in comparison with the about 50 comparable times that the normal Russian drivers did the very exact same stunt. Only because I and Svet look around for them do we skirt the issue!
But we are talking about blue lights in this article, so the first and most memorable experience for Svet and I with a blue light, was coming around a corner on a 4 lane byway. The opposite traffic was at a stand still and we had good traffic flow on our side. As we rounded a corner, a black Mercedes with a flashing blue light appears traveling in our lane straight at us. The Mercedes was illegally traveling against traffic to bypass all the stalled traffic. I was traveling about 120km per hour at the time and he was doing about 250km per hour. He had no where to go because the road that he should have been on was packed and he could not re enter traffic. So it was up to me to find a way out of the death trap and with inches we made it… (Old Volga’s handle better than you think!)
Svet and I survived and from that experience we learned what conditions to watch for to avoid a “Blue Light Special”, for that matter any Russian
driver! One thing that is a fact. When there is a traffic jam, many Russian
drivers will take anyway they see open.. Link
– My Blue Light Article
Back to the article: From what I see on the news in Russia is that this wreck was another example of a individual that feels he or she is above most of us here in Russia and their use of a blue light was just a helper ticket to kill someone, because they think they are special to get to bypass the normal rules. It is a shame that people have to die because of this type of stupidity.
This is with out a doubt an near perfect example of the blue light causing a wreck! But remember that “Blue Light Specials” are not the only rejects that travel the wrong way in traffic to get to their special destination quickly. Nearly 25 to 30% of the Russian drivers will do exactly like a blue light driver will do, except they are worse because they do not even have a flashing blue light to tell everyone that they are around.
But people have to start somewhere and get angry about situations that are just not right. This is one of those situations and when they get the “K-mart Blue Light Specials” under control. That will help get the blue light wannabe’s
under control! That is where the laws have to change and take the blue light off the road except for emergency vehicles such as cop, fire and ambulances!
As I said earlier, Svet and I have had about 50 hair raising experiences with normal drivers pulling the same stunt. A four hour drive through Moscow will net you the view of one serious wreck per hour and two to three fender benders in the same time frame. In fact the usual reason for traffic blockage is a wreck, which in turn causes two or three more wrecks. Which is caused by aggressive offensive drivers that have no common sense and courtesy for the other drivers. But a blue light, while a big issue of that aggressive driving is a lessor cause of wrecks overall.
This is a normal experience in Russia, but it should not be a normal experience. Maybe this time as the people and news are screaming – Medvedev and Putin will take note.
I use to run a business on the premises that I can not expect employees to follow the rules if I do not follow the rules (The same hold true for societies)…
Windows to Russia!