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    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    May 2011

    Default Bonaire is Changing Which Side People Drive On

    Just saw the following in the latest issue of Bonaire Reporter (March 26 - April 8, 2020):

    "Changinglanes: Bonaire’s Island Council has, onlydays after the implementation of the new traffic legislation on March 1st, decided on a number of additional, more complex measures to reduce the number of traffic accidents and casualties on the island.They are planned to go into effect exactly a month later. Research into the data of what caused the large number of accidents on Bonaire (almost 1,800 on 20,500 inhabitants, more than twelve times higher than the‘continental’ Netherlands) has learned that the share of RHD vehicles, ie. cars carrying the steering wheel on the rightside, which in ‘our’ traffic obviously is the wrong side, is clearly over average. RHD cars on Bonaire account for about 37% of the total amount of four wheeled vehicles, whereas he number of accidents in which at least one of the parties involved drove a RHD car was an astonishing 92%, a clear sign this type of vehicle constitutes a great risk for road safety. Additional research by a specially appointed government committee indicated a number of specific causes for the dangers caused by the RHD cars and their drivers. A report, officially to be issuedn ext week, points out that:— RHD cars, because of the position of the driver in the car, often act erratically, not only on straight stretches, but especially in curves, confusing and/or forming a threat to oncoming traffic. Drivers of RHD cars have a view from their windshield and their side windows that is different from their ‘normal’ counterparts. They, in other words, don’t see what others do, or what they should see in LHD traffic. However, the cars themselves don’t seem to blame, it’s the mainly the drivers that can be held accountable (guns don’t kill either). The cause of the dangers involved, according to the report, is clear:— RHD cars can be purchased for practically nothing, and are therefore available to everybody, and attract mainly ‘new’ drivers, lacking the necessary experience both in traffic, in controlling their vehicle and in technical abilities, and missing the empathy towards others to drive safely.— The cars themselves have flaws, not being designed for ‘our’ traffic: unadjusted headlights blinding oncoming traffic, their drivers unaware of upcoming dangers because of missing left side mirrors, to name a few.To facilitate these drivers the Island Council, after having performed a number of successful tests in a real life traffic simulation on the Nikiboko Zuid and Kaya Industria last week has, in order to improve road safety, decided to facilitate driving conditions for RHD drivers, only slightly burdening the more experienced owners of LHD cars: Bonaire’s going to change lanes! We’re moving from right to left (like in the UK, Japan and Surinam, to name a few), to enable the RHD-drivers to enhance their driving abilities.The decision suggests a lot of work,r elocating traffic signs and the like, but according to a government official all can be accomplished in slightly over a week, starting Monday, March 30. hvdb"

    Am I crazy or not, but to accommodate the inexperienced drivers of RHD cars, Bonaire will switch to driving on the left side of the road. What about all of the cars that are LHD? What about the many, many tourists from the U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, and elsewhere who have never driven on the left side of the road? Think of the large number of accidents that will occur caused by these people? I have been to and driven in the UK and New Zealand and have found it ery confusing and disconcerting, and I am in a RHD car at that time. As someone who has spent 10 weeks per year on Bonaire for the last several years, I personally I think this is a huge mistake.

    Please tell me this iss NOT an early April Fool's joke, being that this issue of The Bonaire Reporter spans April 1.

    Last edited by DrDirector; 03-24-2020 at 11:34 AM.

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