Traffic Report

14 December 09

Getting out of traffic tickets is a common topic of conversation in Serbia, right up there with salaries and last year winter’s snow. I myself don’t lack in such stories. Surely, I must have told you about the time a cop pulled me over near Trebinje, or when that policeman got mighty pissed at me in Čačak.

One can learn a lot from those stories. For example, it never hurts to greet the cop with “Good evening, colleague.” This especially works with a clean shave and a tie – the police officer will be left there scratching his head and trying to figure out which rank you may hold. Or, you may want to mention that you are just coming from THE wedding. Then wait for the cop to mention a prominent last name, and say: “Yes, I was at HIS wedding.”

Nine out of ten times, though, these tactics don’t work and you are in for a ticket. After you get pulled over, the conversation usually takes such a course:

— Do you know how fast you were going? — asks a cop after the initial exchange of license and registration.
— The entirely fictional syntheses of the relevant architectural styles, merely designed to evoke the landmarks within the EU on the back of this €50 bill says I was going 80. — the citizen replies, or rather wishes he had the nerve to reply while signing the ticket. The citizen heard that one can always pay way out of a serious ticket, and the citizen was explicitly told by taxi drivers about such events, but the citizen is too decent to do such a thing.

Mind you, good Serbian drivers rarely get into such unpleasant situations. Not because they abide to laws and regulations – on the contrary, the last time any Serb stopped at a stop sign was at the driving test to get their license, but because good drivers are well aware of where the cops are standing and controlling speed or red lights.

As an effort to put the end to such traffic rules, the Serbian Parliament passed a new Traffic Law, modeled after some EU countries. There has been a lot of noise over this. Punishments are draconian and even more surprisingly, the police claim they plan to enforce the rules from now on.

I myself am optimistic about the new law. We have serious troubles on our roads, and not only potholes at that (actually, potholes are fine – it means there is asphalt around them), but a lot of people are dying in accidents.

Still, I am afraid of police – I always was. The new law gives them the opportunity to jail me for a month without a due process (e.g. if I go over certain speed, or they claim I did) and I just might be tempted to give that €50 bill to the policeman if it gets me out of a bigger problem…

Leave a comment

Textile Help

Ego Center

I suspect that some people will want to know more about the author of this blog. However, as my topic of writing is usually not of very personal nature, I find it inappropriate to write about personal things, say: hobbies, my pets or particularly bad ways in which girls refused me.


Web design - Bitspan