24 June 2008

Life in Norway IV - Sacred Cows

Norway is one of only two countries in Europe where the responsibility at a pedestrian crossing lies solely with the driver. Consequently pedestrians can and do wander blindly into the streets while cars screech to a halt to avoid them. These people go to significant effort to launch themselves, from the pavement into the road without establishing eye contact with drivers and ignoring the fact that someone has just stopped for them. In fact it is exceedingly uncool to even acknowledge that the 1.5 tonnes of metal that has just been brought to a halt for your benefit even exists.

Scott pointed out that it was very similar to the "sacred cows" in India who drift amongst the traffic.

And now its official - at least its in the paper, Norway is the most dangerous place in Europe to use a zebra crossing. In fact more people die on crossings than anywhere else on the road. But don't worry, you and I are safe, we will instinctively look before we cross the road. Its that special breed of norwegain scared cow that is taking a hammering and bumping up the stats. And thats in a country where drivers are aware, driving slow and trying very hard to avoid them. God only knows what happens when they go abroad - it must be carnage

Anyway next time you drive through a Norwegian town and a "sacred cow" launches randomly into the road and avoids eye contact - just mooow at them, they have a short life expectancy

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