From Canada to Mexico – Did He Really Do That? Driving in Mexico—Part 3
I had been told that driving in Mexico is very interesting, but nothing would prepare me for the way they really drive here.
The first thing you notice is that no one pays attention to the speed limits. The speed limits on the freeways in town is 80 km/h; no one does less than 100 km/h, and most do around 120 km/h. Speed on regular streets is controlled by something called a tope in Spanish. In English, we call them speed bumps. They are huge, they are everywhere and they are not well-marked.
The really wonderful thing is the way everyone drives. There are lines painted on the road, but these are ignored. If the street has room for two lanes, you can be sure that that traffic will be three cars wide.
It is also acceptable—and expected—that people will make left turns from the right lane, crossing three lanes of traffic. The first few times we saw this, it was shocking. After seeing the same thing happen three and four times a day, we came to expect it. They will also pull out into traffic right in front of you, and purposely avoid looking in your direction. They seem to think that if they can’t see, you you’re not there. Needless to say, more than half of the vehicles on the road have some kind of body damage.
Nothing can really compare, however, to the transit busses. The busses are owned by private companies, and are driven by people who feel that the bigger vehicle always has right of way. They will gladly pull out in front of you, and the banged up bumpers tell the tale of others who have not been quick enough to apply the brakes.
Once you learn the real rule of driving in Mexico, you will be fine. That rule being: “Drive as though everyone wants to kill you.”