Driving down the Tallin motorway, as I do four days a week, the poor quality of driving and the high level of unnecessary risk never fails to surprise me. I know I blogged about this topic last year, but having seen no noticeable improvements I decided it was time for a revisit.
A recent EU report shows an increase in road fatalities in Latvia for 201do3-14 of 18%, the highest increase in the whole of the EU, whilst most countries are showing a decrease. Other data shows that there are nearly half the speed checks in Latvia as against the European average.
I really don’t understand the seemingly apparent disinterest in Latvian authorities towards tackling the problem. Every day as I drive through Ādaži and Baltezers the driving becomes much much worse. Yet I rarely see any traffic police. Why is this?
I can only assume Latvia’s poor road traffic record is one or all of the reasons below:-
- No political will to tackle the problems
- Too few traffic police
- Poor traffic management
- Car insurance too cheap
- Poor education
A Latvian friend also suggested that a reason no police are seen around Ādaži is that so many influential people live there. Could be a reason, but I would hate to think so.
I would love to know what my Latvian readers think. Have a look at the European report, makes depressing reading.
All the stated reasons are correct, mate.
Add sheer amount of ignorance, and there is perfect mix of reasons.
Hi, One more reason to add – “It will never happen to me” attitude. I do not drive and I am very apprehensive towards it. I will one day, because I stay in rural Scotland.
I used to think Latvia has such bad roads, but now having lived in India I take my thoughts back. Latvia doesn’t know what pure ignorance towards roads is. Having said that I do agree there is a lot of room for improvement.
By roads I mean both driving culture and road quality.
I’ve driven on Indian and African roads too and they are just crazy.
Well… I have to mostly agree with all you are stating unfortunately..
Driving habits are still pretty bad here. I would like to think there is little improvement every year, but it’s so small my lifetime might not be enough for it to get to a decent level..
I live not too far from Adazi, do drive through Adazi/Baltezers few times a week. I wouldn’t say this part of the Tallin road which is ‘1 1/2 lanes’, (from Baltezers till Salacgriva) is specifically worse than the rest of it..
in fact that’s probably the part of problem, the fact this road is one of the best in Latvia, relatively easy to drive, so people are more relaxed/reckless.. 😦
Now, imho, specifically in Adazi till Baltezers – it got more problematic after all through this stretch 70kmh speed limit signs were installed and partially removed about 6m (?) later (officially or otherwise?). Imho the driving got more hectic as some people tried to mind the limit, some did not, some did not notice the signs, etc…
(local gossip is the 70 signs got installed after a local little nuts old lady got the local council fed up with her petitions it is too difficult /dangerous to cross the road around where Maxima ‘supermarket’ is approximately.. so local council caved in and installed the 70 signs… :/)
Gossip is a gossip.. I am selling for what I bought it..
it has been recently discussed the 1 1/2 lane roads are in fact not a good idea, as there are few of those in Latvia and as a result driving habits are not adequate. but no immediate plan to change anything re this type of lane arrangement , just it was mentioned no new roads w/this arrangement will be built..
re discussion re 1 1/2 lane roads – this one was in press / news portals/reposts of interested / arguing parties in FB/such, e.g. in society at large, involving some gov officials participation.
But to be honest, people in Latvia knows the rules, they are dynamic drivers.. you should try some roads in Ireland! Ouch and Sunday drivers with no knowledge of indicators, road signs and accelerator!!!