Driving Rules for Kazakhstan
I was inspired by this post on driving rules in China to make up a list of driving rules in Kazakhstan:
- Ignore lanes. The lines wear off every year anyway because of all the salt and sand they put on the roads to melt the snow and ice. Instead, drive in the middle of your side of road preventing people from passing you on the left or right.
- When you come to a stoplight get into the lane with the fewest cars, regardless of what side of the road it’s on. If you need to turn right, but the left lane is shorter, get in the left lane. Then when the light turns green just push your way over to the right lane, cutting anyone off who tries to get in your way
- Alternatively, make a new lane by pushing in between two other cars. See if you can pack 3 rows of cars on a two lane street or 4 or 5 cars on a three lane street
- If you want to turn left and the left lane is too long, swing onto the other side of the road into oncoming traffic then pull ahead of the first car in the left lane. If you are now located in the middle the intersection and blocking traffic, get mad at everyone else
- If the car in front of you isn’t moving when the light turns yellow (to indicate that it is about to turn green) honk your horn repeatedly even though it is illegal to drive when the light is yellow.
- Drive very fast. If something gets in your way, don’t slow down. Try to go around it. If you see pedestrians, try to go behind them. But don’t slow down ever.
- Try to avoid using turn signals
- Even if you have bought an $80 000 jeep equipped with a full off-road package, 2 cm deep puddles and 5cm tall speed bumps may damage your car severly, so slow down to an almost complete stop before going over them. Then floor it to get back up to cruising speed.
- If you are really in a rush in the left lane and the car is front of you is going too slow (read: following the speed limit) flash your lights, honk, and swerve around wildly to scare them. Ignore the fact that there may be cars in the right lane and the car in front of you can’t get out of your way. Pass them by moving into oncoming traffic and give them the finger as you go by.
This list is obviously somewhat tongue-in-cheek since it doesn’t apply to all the drivers all the time. And one thing I have discovered is that people here don’t wave to say thank you or sorry when they do cut you off. Instead they flash their hazard lights–which in the US anyway means something is wrong with my car/I need to pull over or stop suddenly, be careful. So the next time you let someone go in front of you, if they don’t wave, don’t think they aren’t grateful. And if they flash their lights, don’t panic.