Medellin Driving Tips for Foreigners
It is not third world driving here but it is a different world. It is somewhat exciting but immediately obvious that driving here is different from driving in the United States.
The following are the driving tips for foreigners :
The motor cycles here are crazy and aggressive. They pass on both sides, zip in and out, come down the middle, and follow no laws other than stopping at red lights some of the time. So the first lesson is to stay in your lane and when you move out of it, do not trust your mirrors, look into your turns so that you can spot the motor cycle in your blind spot.
The next observation is that buses in Medellin are bullies. They know they are bigger than you and they know that you will back off. So this is a battle you cannot win and should be prepared to lose when they decide to pull out in front of you or suddenly stop and block you. Closely followed in terms of annoyance are the taxis who also will stop anywhere for any reason not seeming to care that they are blocking you.
Keeping all this in mind we must address the sign situation or lack thereof. Point here is that you need to know your way around. Otherwise you may find yourself missing a possible turn and it could take you 15 minutes or more to get back to where you were. There are lots of one way streets here and some of them are poorly marked. You do not know you are going the wrong way until you see the oncoming cars flashing their lights at you and gesturing with their hands.
The drivers in general in Medellin you can find to be more Type A drivers as opposed to the more docile senior drivers in Florida .One will like the drivers here. They are aggressive, alert but very patient. And many are quite polite in letting you out of a driveway or side street. It is a carry over of the Good culture and you can find them more considerate in this regards than the average US driver. And of course their patience is learned from all of the long lines they stand in at banks and government offices.
Thus the driving tips for foreigners have been given here. These foreigners should adjust with the drivers here in Medellin.
The next thing to keep in mind is the transit police, or “Transit.” These are the guys and girls nattily attired in their well pressed blue uniforms as opposed to the police in their drab military uniforms. Be well aware that the police are your friends and are out to catch criminals and not hassle you regarding your possible driving violations.
And keep in mind also that if you have an accident, you should not move your car even if it is in the middle of the road. The Transit will be there shortly and they want to see the original accident scene.
One new wrinkle here is the camera towers that are scattered over town and take photos for traffic violations. With all these driving tips for foreigners, the foreigners should know to drive patiently in Medellin.