Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Traffic War, an Addendum

This morning's Clarín contains an article on four-wheel ATVs in the Buenos Aires province beach resort of Pinamar, where an ordinance does not allow such unstable vehicles to circulate on city streets but only on designated circuits. Leaving aside the question of how many helpless sunbathers they might run over on the beach, only one person may ride each vehicle and that person must wear a helmet. The article's accompanying photo, though, shows a helmetless driver, with a bareheaded boy on his lap, on a heavily trafficked avenue.

After being cited by a municipal inspector for having no vehicle registration or license , and his helmet hanging on his elbow, one indignant rider responded that "I'm on vacation, man, and all you do is hassle me." With 8,000 ATVs for rent in Pinamar, and only 30 inspectors, the overwhelming majority of violations go unpunished. In fact, ATV companies even rent to minors, though the the provincial traffic code prohibits this.

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