Is Mexico Safe?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Arte, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    QUOTE TURKEYCREEK

    This particular tope killed 4 soldiers a few months back when they were bounced out of the back of their Hummer. The police in Imuris told me that this tope has killed 10 people but I can't verify.
    QUOTE

    OUCH, get well soon and safe

    This again proves my contention that Mexican speed bumps
    are in most instances vastly overdone ,thrown up by people who
    have no conception or consideration of safety for vehicular road users.
    As this example shows they have actually caused deaths and are responsible
    annually for millions of dollars of damage to vehicles , millions of liters of fuel
    wasted in the trucking industry , consequent air pollution from
    trucks and cars needing to stop and start up again and the many millions of dollars of
    the wasted fuel and time and damaged vehicles which need to be factored into the cost of business. .The chain of unintended bad consequences goes on longer.

    If the new president Peña Nieto really wants to earn a place in history he could
    earn it easily by establishing and enforcing strict federal standards for topes,
    their permitted maximum height, width,slope angles , spacing and location.
    Pedestrian safety is important but in too many cases it is obvious that topes have
    been thrown up without any real thought by folk who have no experience driving anything, simply to slow down traffic , just to teach those strangers a lesson.
    Driver education and pedestrian educatoon and strict ,fair non-corrupt enforcement of speed limits would be a sensible approach.
    There really is no excuse for placing huge topes at stop signs on steep uphill intersections sometimes with sand or cobblestone pavement ,in deeply potholed unpaved streets where traffic crawls at best of times,after sharp curves , in dappled shade areas and within spacings of a few truck lengths....... all of which I have experienced
    We can slow down and enjoy Mexico without these death traps.They have NO scenic worth.
    Sr Presidente Take Down These Topes!

    :wink: Everybody in Mexico cut and paste this and send it to the prez:deal
  2. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Well said Sr. Bakker. I may send this to the Gov of Sonora.
  3. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    I'm sure he'll send the road graders out after he gets it
  4. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    The state has actually legalized recreational use effective 1/1/14. Armageddon is nigh, the horsemen are mounted and riding and there are no topes.
  5. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Glad to see that you are relatively OK TC. Best wishes for a speed recovery.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  6. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Property values in Telluride are going to rise
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    TC, hope you get well soon.

    As for topes, they are simply established out of necessity, yes, I despise them as much as the next guy, but what would you do if you had zero legal control for out of control drivers right in front of your house?

    Kids, animals, old folks, everyone walks in Mexico and in small villages on secondary roads, you'll find lots of people walking. They don't drive cars, they don't even have a motorcycle nor even a bicycle. But many had relatives that were taken out by reckless bus drivers, truck drivers, etc...

    I am not defending the tope, I am rationalizing it.

    Sjored, I know your heart is in the right place but seriously...Enrique Pena Nieto, the president of Mexico, can't even find his own arse end with both hands behind his back while looking in a mirror with the directions written in reverse on his forehead. He could give a damn about topes, he can't even be counted on to help hurricane victims in dire need of aid, regulation of topes is simply an impossibility. You think Turkey Creek has a head injury and loss of memory, EPN couldn't even remember how his wife died!

    Perspective changes when you deal with them every single day and not just on trips as far as road hazards are concerned.


    It's a yin-yang thang. For the record, I think most were designed by the devil himself. They are evil, nasty, and diabolical. But they do serve a purpose, more often than not. I doubt they are placed some place to "teach strangers a lesson", cement and labor are used for more pragmatic purposes in the sierras.

    I can tell you that topes, right now, are the least of your worries in most parts of Mexico, there are literally entire sections of road missing in action. This is the newest danger. What you think will be there, what was there the last time you took the road (and for some of you it might be a year or more), is simply gone. The other very present danger is that of truck traffic crowding into your lane. Mexican roads are officially narrower than roads in many countries. Ask any RV owner. Whatever road shoulder there was, in many cases, has crumbled away due to the heavy rains and flooding and vehicles now hug the center line more than ever before. Couple that with winds and a double semi whipping back and forth and you've got a carambola in the making. Heads up on that, it's worse in the wet because you can't react as fast as in the dry with your counter steering, well, ok, you can but you better be ready for the slide that will follow.

    Go back a few pages and take a look at the section of road missing near La Esperanza, it won't make TC feel any better, but I am sure he'll agree that results might have varied if he had plunged off of that.

    A far more novel and oddly beautiful approach would be to remove all the topes, every single one, and then make all prospective and currently elected officials place themselves horizontal on the roads where the topes were. Those that survive the first 48 hours would be elegible to run for office or re-election. Those that don't can just be cemented over.
  8. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

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    Yes Topes can be a pain in the butt... BUT they also work like passing lanes in the right places... :deal


    My sentence is up today at 13:00, no more floating jail house, Mexico here I come....:freaky
  9. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    I couldn't imagine riding the coast highway Mex #180 without them.
  10. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    It would be impossible to get past all of the citrus and vegetable trucks.
  11. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Topes are not the enemy, poorly designed and placed and poorly marked topes are the enemy. Sojerd's comment about standards is apt. Right now, crews are modifying the height and angle of several topes between here and Aconchi. Small cars could not cross them with out hitting their undercarriage. I don't know who is doing the work - it might be an ad-hoc group of locals

    Things designed to solve one problem should not cause other problems. And a tope designed to force a truck to stop is going to cause problems. My neighbor says that topes are used by pueblos with lazy cops who don't want to enforce speed limits in their towns

    There are lots of dangers in driving Mexican roads; wash outs, trucks in your lane, cows. After living here full time for almost 6 years I know how it works. I am fully responsible for the crash because I know there are nasty, unmarked topes out there hiding the shadows. I did not make the appropriate adjustments and this time it bit me. I have been thinking the incident through as much as I can with my addled brain and it goes back to what I always told my kids the 2 most important words are (no Trice, not those words) but pay attention. There were some things going on with me that afternoon that diverted my attention.

    Not the worst thing to have happened to me: I got to make friends with the cops in Imuris, my wife still loves me and we have had a good back and forth here. Some time to heal, some Bondo and some paint and few bits from E-bay and everything will be as before. (to those of you who knew me before I moved to Mexico, yes, this is me talking)

    Saludos a todos ADVers
  12. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    :lol3
    Road graders ? The way a lot of them are built it would take some dinamite to tenderize them first.
    And no Mike , I have no illusions about the qualifications of any of the politicians
    you mention but I do think that once after the storm damage has been mostly looked after and things return to something that goes for normal in Mexico it would be
    possible to get some of the bureaucrats to direct their attention to standardizing and
    civilizing topes.
    I do not question your statement that the fulfill a purpose of slowing down drivers.However I do think that can be achieved by having topes of less radical dimensions where some engineering considerations have been taken such as the
    ground clearance of normal passenger cars, the angles of the slope to minimize damage if taken at excess speed and so on . They do not need politicians to do this, only a directive to get a few tech people in the CAPUFE on it. If they know how to build good toll booths than this is not beyond their ability ,and it would be a feather in the cap of the prez who gets it rolling. He will have statues in his honor " el Matatope"
    I have observed the proliferatio of topes over the years and have noticed their growth into the ridiculous .As road quality all over improved topes became the stand ins for the potholes which were removed
    As in most countries the speeders much of the time are the themselves locals
    who complain about speeders. And there is indeed the element of blaming outsiders
    for the speeding and hazard.I will be politically incorrect , but in the heavily indigenous areas for example in the sierras of Chiapas the local councils in their threats to place more topes do appear to be
    using it as a tool to exert some form of excessively coercive power over the interloper traffic. Certainly they deserve every civil right as all other people but that should not be used as an excuse to do silly and dangerous things just because they can
  13. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    I can just see it now. A National Tope Standards Committee made up of three civil engineers, and five politicians will convene and design the "National Standard Tope". Then ten road crews each consisting of six workers, a dump truck, a jack hammer and a burro will fan out across Mexico with instructions to remove each and every existing tope and rebuild them to the new standard. At some point each of these crews will have to have a squad size unit from the military assigned to protect them from angry locals and politicos. Twenty years from now they will have completed 25 % of the project. But of course, I am an optimist.:1drink
  14. SR

    SR Long timer

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    Also, a tope can't be bought off with a 200 peso bill.

    Let’s don't let the Mexican drivers off the hook. Mexican drivers have an rude and uncivilized lack of respect for their fellow Mexican Pedestrians. Commonly the more expensive the vehicle, the more poorly mannered the driver. The Mexican elite at their finest.

    Many Mexicans drivers can't comprehend why they should slow down for a Pedestrian if they own and are driving a vehicle. But they do understand expensive damage inflicted on the front end of a vehicle. Hence the tope!
  15. SR

    SR Long timer

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    The Mexican Politicians would have to steal something from the project. They and everyone in their family would end up with 50 Topes each in the driveways to their houses. :lol3

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_5ZwbDj7sQM?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    A video to go with my rants!
  16. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    The politicians would own the dump truck, jack hammer, the burro and the concrete factory all of which they would lease/sell to the government.
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Sjoerd, it ain't gonna work, man! You don't realize how dysfunctional the whole political apparatus is here these days. There are striking teachers shutting down the schools, the highways, the offices, the streets, and there are striking cane workers closing down the casetas if the teachers have not already done so. The entire libre between Puebla and Veracruz via Cordoba and Orizaba was shut down for an entire day last week. Imagine the 401 being closed between London and Toronto by striking teachers or posties.

    The entire country is po'd at things and the hurricanes didn't help. Acapulco recovered from Paulina back in the mid-90's because it was still a decent tourist destination. Acapulco has been off the map for cruise ships and a lot of tourists for the past few years. Recovery will be minimalist at best. This isn't the rebuild of Cancun after Wilma. That came from millions poured in by a government that seemed to care. This time nobody is holding out much hope for the rebuilds. Topes are the least of the worries when there are entire portions of highways missing. This is long term work.

    Everybody has learned to live with the tope, just like learning to live with the corruption. It is endemic, you might stamp it out in a small area for awhile, like near TC's place. But it is like bus plunges, they are always going to be happening and innocent people suffer. Maybe Sonora is faster, but it took 3 years for the state government here to build one bridge and they've been working on another for 8 years now.

    Taking the topes out of Mexico is like taking the manteca out of the frijoles, yes, both are bad for you, but not everyone will agree on it. It is like herding cats to get a window replaced in a school here, nobody is going to make topes a priority and it would likely take millions of pesos and hundreds of bureaucrats to simply agree on the agenda for a meeting to consider the amount of degrees in one of the angles the topes would have.

    I paid out $4,000 pesos because I cracked my oil pan on one and have lost a filling out of a tooth because of one. They are evil, but beloved by some, and nothing is going to change that.

    As always, sadly, it is the Harley riders who suffer the most.
  18. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Yes the cop can be bought off but the driver still has to stop
  19. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I may start a guerrilla movement to re-work the topes. A few guys, some picks, a few sacks of concrete and we are good to go.
  20. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Shhh! Damn it! The Zapatope movement has been strong for some time here. Sub-Comandante CEMEX and Comandante Apasco are changing the pick handles as I speak. I gave them some hot water, to get them swelled up faster, besides, I'm in enough already. Sadly, el mercenario Anahuac is no longer with us and Cruz Azul is incomunicado.