Angry Burmese citizens shame bad drivers by posting photos online

 
Heavy traffic has become quite a headache in Burma’s biggest city, Rangoon. Some of its residents find this problem is made worse by bad drivers, who they’ve decided to shame by posting photos of traffic violations online for all to see.
 
“Law Breakers On the Road”, a recently-created Facebook group, shows it all: there are photos of cars driving on the wrong side of the street; buses driving in the middle of two traffic lanes; people hanging onto the sides of overloaded vans; taxis blocking bus stops; and, of course, various accidents.
 
A rush hour accident. Photo posted to the Facebook page “Law Breakers on the Road”.
 
The group, whose members have to be approved before they can contribute, appears to be composed of mostly young, tech-savvy folk who hope to remedy bad driving by exposing it online. In neighbouring India, a similar Facebook initiative was launched in 2010, but by police.
 
 
This is not the first time Rangoon residents have used the Internet to vent their anger at traffic problems. Last September, an anonymous citizen journalist filmed traffic police accepting bribes from drivers of overloaded buses, and posted the video online. The video was widely shared on social networks.
Contributors

"Traffic has become really bad because the government is now allowing people to buy imported cars"

Htoo Tay Zar lives in Rangoon. He is a member of the Facebook group "Law Breakers On the Road".
 
Traffic has become really bad over this past year because the government changed its policy on car importations. [A reform passed in 2012 allows Burmese citizens to buy relatively new, second-hand imported cars, chiefly from Japan]. Many people have traded in their old clunkers or their motorbikes for new cars, particularly in my city, which is wealthier than the rest of the country. The result is that the roads are much more crowded. 
 
Because parking was never really a concern in the past, there is a dearth of parking spaces available. Cars now park all over the roads, making them even more congested, especially downtown.
 
Another problem is that for nearly a year now, the city has been building new overpass bridges on three of Rangoon's main roads, which is slowing down traffic quite a bit. This construction is supposed to continue into the spring.
 
"People are still adapting to this sudden surge in traffic"
 
Since all this congestion appeared so quickly, people are still adapting to it. There are many frustrated drivers who, in an attempt to bypass traffic jams, drive on the wrong side of the street. Buses and taxis are the biggest law-breakers. Personally, I prefer to drive longer distances in order to avoid these traffic jams.
 
I don't think this Facebook group is going to help police catch law breakers, but hopefully it will help spread awareness of the problem and encourage people to abide by traffic laws instead of making the roads worse for everyone.
 
An overcrowded bus on the wrong side of the road. Photo posted to the Facebook page “Law Breakers on the Road”.

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