Adventures in Brazil- Driving!

Jul 4, 2012

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Coming from the horrific traffic of Atlanta, driving in Curitiba, Brazil has really been a pleasant experience. The traffic in Curitiba is not nearly as bad as it is in Atlanta. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janerio, however, have some of the worst traffic conditions in the world. The picture to the left is from Sao Paulo. It is going to be interesting to see what happens in those two cities when the World Cup comes to Brazil in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

I have noticed a few interesting things while driving here, though:

1. Stop signs are completely optional. Most people at least take their foot off of the gas as they approach a stop sign. They might even tap the brake if there is a car coming. But to actually stop? Maybe if there is a tanker truck bearing down on them, they might consider stopping but that is about it.

2. The police do not do traffic enforcement here. They do have random radar cameras set up throughout the city. Big signs tell you where they are so you can slow down to less than 40km an hour. If you go past the radar faster than 40, the machine takes a picture of your tag and they mail you a ticket. Once you are past the machine, though, you can pretty much drive as fast as you want.

3. Speed bumps. These are kind of randomly distributed around the city, even on the interstate. Think about the chaos if they tried this in the United States. Imagine the rush hour commute with speed bumps on the interstate. Thankfully, the do have signs telling you where they are so you don’t hit one at 110km an hour and do an X-Games stunt in your car.

To be continued…

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