Saturday, June 29, 2013

US issues warning on driving in Cuba

Posted on Friday, 06.28.13

US issues warning on driving in Cuba

The U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana issued a warning Friday that
traffic accidents involving U.S. citizens are on the rise, and noted
that seven Americans are currently unable to leave the island because of
such accidents.

"We urge you to take extra safety precautions when driving to avoid
problems during your stay in Cuba," the mission, officially the U.S.
Interests Section, said in English and Spanish-language statements
posted on its Web page and sent to journalists.

Two U.S. citizens were jailed for accident-related offenses during
recent months, two others are under house arrest and three more are not
being allowed to leave the island because of accident-related offenses,
according to the statement.

Prison sentences for car accidents can run up to 10 years, the statement
noted, and witnesses and even some people who require emergency medical
treatment abroad have been forced to remain in Cuba while their cases
are investigated.

"Unconfirmed reports suggest that accidents involving motor vehicles are
now the leading cause of accidental death in Cuba," the warning said,
going on to list a long series of problems with the country's streets
and highways.

Highways lack lights and "night driving should be strictly avoided
outside urban areas," it said, while secondary roads are narrow, in bad
condition and used by "pedestrians, bicycles, horse-drawn carts and farm
equipment" as well as livestock.

In cities, many streets are not lit, some cars and most bicycles lack
running lights or reflectors and signage "tends to be insufficient and
confusing." Many Cuban cars are old and lack turn signals, the statement

Source: "US issues warning on driving in Cuba - Cuba -"

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