BY FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ
During the first week of June, there were a reported 20 accidents in Los Cabos, including a head-on crash in Cabo San Lucas due to traffic lights failure, and another that involved loose cattle on the highway that cost a cow its life. On May 30th, two people lost their lives in a crash and four others were injured.
There are many reasons for these accidents. One is the unsafe practice of drivers being distracted because they are senselessly looking at their cell phones while behind the wheel. Not maintaining sufficient space between vehicles or tailgating, ultimately leads to the worst type of accidents because of the high speeds on the highway. Also, the growing population has led to more congestion as people travel to and from work.
Another reason for this spike in automobile accidents is the fact that, in Mexico, there is no driving test when people are getting their license to drive. All people have to do to obtain their license is take a two-and-a-half-hour written exam that is given after watching the rules and regulations of driver safety displayed on the wall via an old-school projector. Not even people driving motorcycles must go through a driver’s test. And many of them do not even follow the helmet law.
Others profess that speeding has led to many accidents this year. And again, that comes back to the lack of a government-required driver’s test. Most people in Mexico just learn and start driving on the fly.
“In Mexico, life is not valued. People will literally almost run a person over just crossing the street. Pedestrians in this country do not have the right of way,” said Hector Lopez from Tijuana, while vacationing in Cabo recently. “A few years ago, a friend of mine was run over in Rosarito, and the driver didn’t even stop.”
And of course, there are always those wild and crazy drivers speeding in and out of traffic along the four-lane highway who contribute to the surge in Los Cabos traffic accidents. Even bus drivers in Los Cabos have been involved in the car crash dilemma. One bus driver was even accused of purposely crashing into another vehicle. The victim in that case suspected the bus driver acted intentionally and filed a complaint after contacting the public transportation company.
The presence of Mexico’s highway patrol might help ease the rise in accidents due to speeding along the busy corridor, but the government really needs the required driving test when issuing a license and/or driving permits. At that point, whatever red flags aspiring drivers display can be addressed and corrected before they become another statistic in highway and city street accidents.