Iranians are out of their minds on the roads. They push rickety old cars way past the legal speed limit. They drive like maniacs on roads that, while in good condition, are not in good enough condition for speeds of 80-100 mph.
I guarantee that if you spend 1-year in Iran, someone you know will be killed in a car accident. It is likely that the person killed will be young, just married or engaged, and full of promise. If you only have one-week to spend in Iran, then ask any Iranian you meet. They will tell you the story of a loved one dying in a car accident. That loved one may be a brother, a lover, or a dear friend.
Visit the graveyards here on a Thursday afternoon, and you are sure to see mothers crying beside the graves of their 20-something sons. These boys did not die in war or in any act of insurgency.
Iranians only half-jokingly blame their driving on the mullahs. Every day you can watch public service announcements geared towards improving the driving habits of Iranians. The PSAs are witty and interesting and tragic. But they are sanctioned by the government, which makes them suspect. "Iranians cannot believe that the law can also protect them," a friend who is a lawyer says.
No. Iranians believe that everything can be solved with a little money. "If Iran can solve its traffic problem," K says, "then any problem can be solved."
Why is this topical now? I'll tell you. It's because a good friend's brother was killed this past week. Just married. Full of promise. And not the first…