Peruvian Traffic Death Warrant

March 15th, 2007

I almost died twice today. Quite a normal day on Peruvian roads.

I am still not quite used to barely avoiding horrific traffic accidents yet, hence me bothering to tell you with this blog, but it is slowing becoming normal. I smile now, rather than go numb with fear. Today’s potential death scenarios, as you might have suspected, both involved public transport. In these instances, taxis.
In the back streets of San Isidro our taxi driver was casually driving on the wrong side of the road, along what was essentially one long blind turn of a curved road full of parked cars and no visibility. This, of course, was at high speed. Suddenly in front of us appeared a large white car, dozens of times stronger that our tiny Tico taxi. In the second it took to notice it, our driver skilfully swerved out of it’s way.
Later that afternoon we were in another taxi coming from Javier Prado onto the Via Expresa. Without looking, at very high speed, we came down the ramp and straight into the flowing traffic. Narrowly swerving out the way, with a more genuine expression of sheer terror than I have seen on a Peruvian driver in a long time, our almost morgue-companion survived.

This video, by a web-programmer from the UK – Ben Powell, shows the rules of the road in Arequipa.

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