The most frightening thing I have come across in this country is the reality of the roads and driving. I honestly wish this was a topic that I could joke about, and we can all have a little giggle, but the sad truth is, people young and old are losing their lives to stupid mistakes that can easily be avoided. Here’s my (really long) list of all the horrible things I wish I hadn’t experienced in my short few months in Beirut so far. If you have any additions, feel free to comment below so we can attempt to raise awareness and create a safer Lebanon.



Image via blogbaladi.com


1. Let there be light!

If there are cars around you, turn the high beams off. And even worse, if you’re someone who likes pimping your car, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put those pimp lights (yes, I’m going to call them pimp lights) at the front. You know, the blue, orange, and super strong lights that burn our retinas. It’s dangerous, and you’re putting people's safety at risk for the sole purpose of looking like a complete douche. 





2. The yellow light does not mean speed up.

In fact, it means slow the hell down.


3. All black everything

If a minister or political person has blacked out windows, I get it, I wouldn’t want to be seen either (from shame you'd think, although I’m pretty sure they just want VIP treatment). However, if you’re an ordinary citizen like me, there is absolutely no reason to completely black out all your windows. Again, you look like a complete douche. 


4. Politics

Us Lebanese have an awful reputation for getting our politics involved in absolutely everything. I read an article once that politics is even affecting our football teams. Please do not honk your favourite political party’s song, don’t stick flags out of your car, and stop with the stickers and photos taped to your windows. Keep it to yourself, nobody cares.


5. But, speaking of stickers…

Please keep the funny stickers and phrases, they’re awesome at combatting road rage! 



Image via @nekatlebanese18 on Instagram


6. Pimp my ride?

I’ve already mentioned the annoying pimp lights, but please spare me the pimp sounds. Your granddad’s 1970 BMW will never sound like a Ferrari, it’s just noise pollution and migraine inducing. 


7. Fast and fu…cking stupid

The motorway is not a competition for you to try and overtake as many cars as possible in the space of a minute. It isn't a track for you and your friends to be racing at stupid times of the night either. Speeding and/or drifting is not "cool". This is not GTA. Enough lives have been taken by this complete and utter stupidity.


8. The sunroof is not a balcony

Stop sticking your heads, and your kids outside of it. 





9. The window is not a dustbin

We have enough problems as it is with the garbage. Your window is not a dustbin either. 

 
10. Don’t follow the ambulance

I don’t know what else to say for this point apart from "don’t be a dick". 


11. A seatbelt is not for display!

Believe it or not, this tiny bit of material could save your life. Use it. 


12. DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE.

God, this point makes me angry. If you’re in the passenger seat one day, just look around you and count how many people you see on their phones in the space of a minute. I promise you, that status update from that girl from school you haven’t spoken to in 7 years can wait and your girlfriend won't break up with you if you don't reply within a second. I saw an advert in the UK once which said something along the lines of "don't let your last seen be your last seen", which I found extremely powerful. 


13. Beeeeeeepppp.

It is not a competition of who can beep the most. The light turning green is not an indication for you to start honking a mere split second later so the car in front of you moves. And beeping recklessly when stuck in traffic isn’t going to help. Chill.




 
14. Although in very limited circumstances it is acceptable.

I find it cute how different beeps have different meanings, like the small single beep to say thanks, or double small beep to say hey to a friend (emphasis on the word "small"). 


15. Underage driving.

It’s normal for parents to teach their kids how to drive. It’s not normal however to put a 12-16 year old in front of the wheel, and teach them how to drive on a main road. And this point absolutely includes those people who seem to think they’re above the law by buying their license. No, just no. 


16. Drunk driving. 

This breaks my heart. What’s a good night out if you never make it back and tell everyone about it the next day? 


17. Motorcycles…the rules apply to you too. 

Has anybody else noticed that mopeds seem to think that the one way rules don’t apply to them? Yeah, you too moped drivers... YOU’RE ALSO DRIVERS. 


18. Motorcycles are not family vehicles

I've seen mopeds on the motorway with a whole family sat on them, including babies, toddlers and children. The fact that someone is able to put their family at so much risk is beyond me. I don't even feel safe here in a massive 4x4. 





I sincerely hope this was read in a passive aggressive tone. If it stops just one person from doing one of these idiotic things, I will definitely sleep much better at night.  

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