Thursday, 1 April 2010
According to all research, Swedes are law-abiding citizens who respect rules and regulations and follow them.
This might be true in many cases, but not in the case of the studded tire.
The studded tire prevents slipping and skidding on winter roads. It is great when there is an icy surface to drive on but, as soon as the snow is gone, the studded tire slashes the surface of the road. This damages the road and sends millions of tiny, unhealthy particles into the air, which is breathed in by unsuspecting pedestrians and cyclists.
To combat this, the government banned studded tires on one of the main roads in Stockholm - Hornsgatan. Only on Hornsgatan. Driving on any of the roads around Hornsgatan is ok, but not actually on Hornsgatan itself. This seemed sensible to the politicians, but was really impractical for drivers.
Yesterday, the results of this ban were announced. It seems as if Swedes have contradicted all research and become rebellious. Apparently, 40% of all cars that drive on Hornsgatan still have studded tires. This is equal to 12000 cars per day. The number of fines that have been issued due to this flagrant violation of the law is 15.
One Swedish violator, interviewed on tv, said that the law is 'ludicrous'. Another said that it is a 'ridiculous waste of money and resources'.
I have been faithfully avoiding Hornsgatan with my studded-tired car. Although I disagreed with the law, I followed it anyway. I thought everybody would. I didn't want to risk a fine.
Mm, what does this say about me?