I feel a bit compelled to describe the SH2 Motorway we rode on yesterday morning from Vore to Durres. This road offered some great safety improvements over the old road that ran alongside it, like the central barriers that seperated the oncoming traffic in an effort to reduce the risk of head-on collisions, but other safety devices have also been installed to improve the drive.
The road has a speed limit of either 90kmh or 100kmh (take your pick unless you’re driving a BMW or Mercedes as then no limits apply apparently). Where servos have been placed on the motorway, instead of having a slip road to exit the motorway, a 60kmh zone applies at the start of the servo apron.
Occasionally we could see overhead pedestrian crossings arching over the motorway, and these often signalled a ‘Dangerous Crossroad’. As we approached these crossings a sign announcing the ‘Dangerous Crossroad could be seen, and the speed limit would drop to 60kmh and then within a few metres 40kmh. A radar attached to a digital display showing your speed and a smiley or sad face would reward or admonish you depending on your detected speed. The central barrier had been removed at these crossroads to allow farm traffic and other vehicles cross the road.
The speed limits change so frequently on the roads here – motorway included – it’s hard to understand the rationale that’s been used to determine how fast you should be driving.
Then again, sitting on the roadway out the front of hotel in Himare under an umbrella enjoying a Tirana beer and watching all the scooter riders zip by without a helmet, and watching the cars roar down the short section of beachside road makes me wonder if road safety is just an afterthought over here …