Saturday, October 10, 2009

Traffic Lights

As part of a new drive to clean up and develop N'Djamena, tens of kilometres of new tarmac roads have appeared over the last few months. The finishing touch is the addition of traffic lights - until now a pretty much unheard of unnecessary hindrance to crazy driving.

A new set has appeared at the end of my road - quite a contraption as they're powered by solar panels. The base is about 6 metres high, with a 2 squared metre panel on the top. The lights were so bright the other night I thought a new bar or nightclub was spilling its neon wares onto the badly-lit street.

But they are causing some confusion. Yesterday I watched for a full three minutes as a driver waited patiently while the signal was green. The second it changed to red he started off slowly into the incoming traffic, all of which came flying at him swearing and tooting horns aggressively, juddering bikes wobbling out of his way, motorbike riders on the wrong side of the road swerving to avoid him.

Today the traffic lights have stopped working.

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