In towns and cities, arrows are posted on the side of buildings to indicate which direction traffic is to flow, whether it is one way and which direction, or whether it is two-way traffic. Just because the road is two-way traffic for awhile, doesn’t mean it continues to be 2 way, so check the sides of the buildings often. Don’t base your assumption of traffic flow of motos, they have their own set of driving rules. And be aware that many roads have no street signs.
The newest fad in road construction is la glorieta (traffic circle). Technically the right of way goes to those vehicles traveling around the glorieta (traffic circle) but proceed with caution because apparently not everyone knows about that particular traffic law.
The hours to avoid driving near schools are 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. and 6:30 for the vespertino (afternoon) session. Cars are double and triple parked in no parking zones and traffic lanes to drop off students. Drivers are not in their cars since they have accompanied their particular set of students to the door to give them their bendicación (blessing) before classes begin. There are supposed to be transitos (traffic police) during these hours, but that’s not always true. There’s nothing to do but be patient.
Stopping in town is risky business. Public parking can be found, but may seem hardly worth the effort if you are just going to be a minute. It is tempting to park in those wide open areas that are designated as bus stops, but try to refrain from that. Buses have no qualms about taking your side mirrors with them as they pass. Good luck trying to collect on damages! Transitos (traffic police) also get testy if you are parked where you shouldn’t be for any length of time. They carry screwdrivers and will take your license plates right off your vehicle. You will need to go to the transit office and pay a fine to get them back. (See Driving Hazards–Police and traffic stops)
On our trip back from San Miguel de Allende, we missed our turn in Celaya and we asked for directions, which did us no good whatsoever since we couldn’t find the street we needed because it had no sign. We finally made our way back to the main boulevard and followed that to the end of the city, where lo and behold, there was our exit. So although preguntando llega a Roma, (Asking will get you to Rome) apparently preguntando (asking) won’t get you out of Celaya no matter how many people you ask.
Nine harrowing hours after we started out from Moroleón to San Miguel de Allende and back, we made it safely home. I understand completely now the custom my husband has of crossing himself and muttering a prayer before heading out on the road. I offer a prayer up myself nowadays because it really is a dangerous thing setting out your front door in México.
3 responses to “Driving Hazards–Towns and cities”
It sounds very stressful to try and drive in Mexico. What are the requirements are for getting a driver’s license? Do they teach driver’s ed in school?
No, driver’s ed is not taught in schools. There are driving school though. Getting a driver’s license is a pain and often requires a mordida. I will try and list the requirements in a future post. It doesn’t help that many streets are barely wide enough for burros–I prefer my moto to a car or truck for that reason.
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