If there is one thing that catches ones’ eyes in Tehran would be the traffic jam.
The motorists here use more of their horns and brakes to move along the morning traffic jam. In between we have motorcyclists whom many do not wear helmet and pedestrians who crossing the road. When one is walking and crossing roads in Tehran, one need to look left, right, front and back because you will never know when a fast car can drive towards you. We have seen many incidents of cars being driven on the opposite of the road (we have the same problem with motorcyclists back in Malaysia)
There are plenty of zebra crossings in Tehran but unlike those in Brunei where cars stop long when a pedestrian is sighted, zebra crossings here is almost redundant here during rush hours – despite people are crossing at zebra crossing, the cars continue to be drive fast. The drivers high beam the headlights or sound their horns as if telling the pedestrians to move faster. Some of the better drivers actually slow down to allow the crossings. Some who drive fast sometimes say sorry for not slowing down. The burden is placed on the pedestrians to be more careful.
We walked to a restaurant and at one point; we had cross a major junction. Looking at the heavy traffic, we decided to wait for the ‘right moment’ but there was no let down of the traffic. One Iranian girl came along us and whilst on the hand phone, started to cross the road. Her concentration was on the conversation rather than the traffic and we were shocked. Somehow she managed to cross to the other side without much problem and continued to walk, still talking on the hand phone.We stood shocked for a moment before deciding that it must be the way of life here when it comes to crossing roads
We finally managed to cross when a large group of Iranians started to cross as well and the cars had no choice but to slow down. We always watch out for traffic here but so far we have not seen any major accidents but then again, being extra careful is always better than being sorry.
Photos – A man crossing a busy road, zebra crossings in Tehran
(To be continued)