Wednesday, 9 February 2011


The driving in Libya is shocking, as are the attitudes to safety and the conditions of most of the cars. It's no wonder there are so many accidents here and I'm used to seeing cars pulled over on perfectly straight roads, with two drivers standing nose to nose, gesticulating wildly and shouting at each other as they stand ankle deep in broken glass and plastic.
I'm also used to seeing children standing on back seats or sitting out of car windows or seeing babies sitting on the driver's lap. I've seen cars go the wrong way around roundabouts, straddle the central reservation and drive against oncoming traffic and do u-turns on a dual carriageway and drive against the traffic on the slip road. I've seen all of that in the last two days.

Today is the first time I've seen someone get killed.
I saw something like a doll in the road and an on coming car swerving, trying to avoid the car in front that had braked. He missed the car. He went right over the girl that the car in front had just hit. As I passed, I saw the bright, stripey jumper and the dark curly hair of a girl aged about 6-8. I pulled over some way ahead and tried to decide what to do. She had to be dead, so my limited first aid knowledge wasn't going to be of help. A large group of men was gathering and more cars were stopping. I decided that this wasn't the best place to be a white guy who could easily become the stooge when the police finally arrived. So I  drove off.
I don't feel guilty, as there was nothing I could have done, apart from get into trouble. I just keep seeing the car swerving and going over the girl, then seeing her body in the road. And I know that tomorrow and every day, I'll be facing the same idiots on the road.


  1. I hope you are okay after witnessing an accident like that. How very, very sad. I feel bad for the poor girl's family.

  2. shit Ed, get out of that damn country as soon as you can, while you are still in one piece.

  3. Lucky I didn't stop, apparently the 'driver' will be thrown in jail and only gets out if the victim's family give permission. Or the family can insist the driver is executed....