Driving in Colombo which drives me to smoke

so the smoking has failed, not miserably, i mean I am not smoking 20 a day or anything, but smoking on occasion. like after a drive. like after i get ticketed for using the phone, because my daughter, Natasha is ringing from thalawathugoda to say “send the driver to pick me up” whilst i am driving back from mount after signing in Sebastian for cricket practice.

Instead of gently waving me to the side of the road the cop walks up to my car from behind- and the moment i realise something is amiss, is when the cop brings his fist crashing down on my car and that makes a loud THUD! Then he motions me over while screaming “phone” at the same time. why are they so rude? why can’t they be more polite?

of course to make matters worse my Sinhalese is non-existent. but i manage a few words, at the end of a protracted conversation tying to make ourselves understood. the end result is that I go to mount Lavinia courts Monday next week to pick up my license. So says the lawyer who phones me the next day. (i have sent my driver to pay the fine and collect my license) while reassuring me not to worry, that I am definitely going to get my license back.

While the cop is speaking to me in sinhalese scolding me for using my phone (he is wagging his finger at me!) I look around and I must see a multitude of traffice offenses committed. Now, what happens to all those?

Anyway does anyone out there know what the traffic laws are? Because what I think a traffic violation may not be one, here. So where can one find out. i mean do fines change daily? does procedure? what is the fine for going through a red?

So, i smoke on occasion.


19 comments on “Driving in Colombo which drives me to smoke

  1. is true, I would love to know what the speed limit is here. I have never ever seen anything posted, so I wonder if you can get ticketed for speeding at all.

  2. Sorry to hear your tale. Cops lack manners here IMO.. Then again, who doesnt…

    You might want to get a handsfree headset or bluetooth headset for your cellphone (should not be hard to find, you can get them just about anywhere).

    Sri Lankan hospitality. Sigh.

  3. im guessing the dude must v pulled u over hoping for a bribe…

    n Null i think the city speed limits are 50 kmph..
    hu drives at that pace when on the rare occasions, there is no traffic… i dont know!

  4. Yeah, to the best of my knowledge it’s 50kmph, but I think on some of the A1 roads it’s 60. There definitely seems to be a double standard in who gets fined as well. I remember in the days that I’d just got my license I went down the wrong way down the one way street opposite HFC, three cars in front of me did the same as well. The last car happened to be an Audi, the policeman conveniently waiting at the end of the road stopped me but not the Audi in front. When I asked him why he didn’t even have the courtesy to reply. Ever since then I’ve stopped viewing policemen as people. I find it helps if you pretend not knowing sinhalese and keep saying “I have no idea what you’re saying mate” repeatedly at them. They usually try and browbeat people in following categories.
    1. Women (Sri Lankan police are philistines and possessed of miniscule genitalia so they need to constantly assert their authority over women)
    2. Three wheel drivers (they’re usually always breaking some law or the other)
    3. Young drivers (in the hope they’ll be underage and get a bribe i think)
    I hope this helps.

  5. Ask anyone in this country and they will have somewhere between 10 – 1000 stories involving irritating policemen.

    First things first – there are no traffic rules if you are:
    1. a politician – or closely related to a politician
    2. a policeman – or closely related to anyone in the armed forces
    3. willing to bribe

    Policemen in this country and almost everywhere actually… are illiterate, lazy, blood-suckers. I try to run them down whenever I can.

    Oh and Indi – yes you can get a ticket for speeding. I have. Well almost. Except I smiled sweetly and got away…

  6. Yes, the cop was rude, and that was bad of him. However, you seem to be ignoring the fact that you were on a cell phone while driving. This is very clearly against the law (not talking on a cell phone, but not having both hands on the wheel, iirc). Hands free kits are relatively cheap these days and I don’t see why you could not have used one and spared yourself the trouble.

    There simply is no excuse for being on a cellular phone will driving. There are other options, and by not making use of them, you’re putting your life, as well as the life of other drivers and pedestrians, in danger.

    Cops are assholes, everyone knows that. Why give them an excuse to pull you over?

    Better luck in the future.

  7. Hi streetwalker. point taken. I knowingly took a risk, the fact that i was stuck in traffic, which was at a snail’s pace and more importantly that it was one of my kids on line is the reason i picked up. Hedging my bet”s as it were. what i objcted to was the huge knock on my car; and the fact that there are traffic violations happening all around me, all the time.
    Policing is arbitary at best.

    But, given that I am on the road so much, investing in a hands free is a must.

  8. I hope I didn’t come across wrong here – I have very little respect for the law enforcement of this country. Among other things, he definitely had no right to hit your car. The thing is, we all know that cops are assholes, and there is very little we can do to change that.

    Having a hands free however will also reduce your stress levels as well, IMHO. Less clickety click when the ringer goes off. 🙂 You should get one of those MI2 spawn blue tooth devices that make you look like a fed. Talk about uber cool.

  9. Hello mum…guess who? lol.

    The Police are jerks but i am merely stating the obvious. This one sounds like an exceptional one though.

    Doesn’t it feel nice to have somewhere to vent? ^_^

    p.s: DON’T smoke.

    your ever loving daughter.

  10. Who cares…..all those buggers are rogues and crooks…..they are all after a good looking lady who they can probably harass and make a quick buck…..
    But i do take my hat off to you for not giving a ruppe to the crooks….in my case i would have been so frustrated i would paid the bugger…..then and there….
    Anyway….Stop smoking….its bad breadth….and sometimes you will lose hair sooner than you think…..brain cells dying on you……love life as it is short….ciao

  11. The speed limit for outstations was 72kmph for cars. In some areas it’s 56kmph and in the city I believe it’s 50kmph.

    The speed limits can be found in the schedule to the Motor Traffic Act. Again I think – I’m no traffic lawyer.

    Cops are rubbish. But if you are hot bird (read ‘lady/female driver) the best course of action is to smile sweetly and serviently, apologise profusely and flash some cleavage. We men don’t have the luxury. If you’ve been to Mt Lavinia Magistrate’s Court you will realise that these few seconds of feigned indignity are well worth it. Trust me it works.

    Also learn Sinhala. This being Sri Lanka and all. It helps too.

    Quitting smoking is advised int the light of the new NATA bill envisaged by the government. If you haven’t given up by then you won’t be able to buy ciggies or smoke them anywhere so you just might kill yourself in frustration. It may just be easier to give up. This country is run by idiots for idiots. Sigh…

    Ashira I’m still waiting for my dinner….

  12. Hi Sophist..

    Went to court. it was interesting. good to know how the system works. Not knowing Sinhala is a major disadvantage, but hey I do not know any Tamil either. Just plain bad at languages. I went to school here at a time when English was still taught and the majority of people spoke English. That’s why when I stop the car and ask for directions, I am usually speaking to a 60+ year old.
    I object to the smiling sweetly and flashing cleavage. Forget it. Too bloody old to play that game. How about just being polite and professional?

    Desperately want to quit smoking. I am very annoyed because I have been out every night this week, which means I smoke.
    I far prefer curling up with a good book and in bed by ten.

    Ashira is planning to cook for you?

  13. No she’s not planning to cook for me. But the ungrateful little buggers are now seeking solace in more established company. Hmmmph. Tarantino started like this methinks.

    Next time you need a chauffeur for Natasha – call. Heh heh heh….ONLY joking.

  14. No she’s not planning to cook for me. But the ungrateful little buggers are now seeking solace in more established company. Hmmmph. Tarantino started like this methinks.

    Colour me confused. ^^;

  15. Pingback: SriPost » Blog Archive » Driving in Sri Lanka…

  16. Sophist: NO woman should have to flashs cleavage at a cop, or any at any other machoistic male for that matter; don’t be such a moron. What are you like 12?

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