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专四晨读美文:Foreign Motorists

所属教程:专业四级晨读英语美文200篇

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2019年04月24日

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Foreign Motorists
The chief problem in coping with foreign motorists
is not so much remembering
that they are different from yourself,
but that they are enormously variable.
Cross a frontier without adjusting
and you can be in deep trouble.
One of the greatest gulfs separating the driving nations
is the Atlantic Ocean.
More precisely, it is the mental distance
between the European and the American motorist,
particularly the South American motorist.
Compare, for example,
an English driver at a set of traffic lights with a Brazilian.
Very rarely will an English man try to anticipate the green light
by moving off prematurely.
You will find the occasional sharpie
who watches for the amber to come up
on the adjacent set of lights.
However, he will not go until he receives the lawful signal.
Brazilians view the thing quite differently.
If, in fact, they see traffic lights at all,
they regard them as a kind of roadside decoration.
The natives of North America are much more disciplined.
They demonstrate this
in their addiction to driving in one lane and sticking to it—
even if it means settling behind some great truck for many miles.
To prevent other drivers from falling into reckless ways,
American motorists try always to stay close
behind the vehicle in front,
which can make it impossible,
when all the vehicles are moving at about 55 mph,
to make a real lane change.
European visitors are constantly falling into this trap.
They return to the Old World
still flapping their arms in frustration
because while driving in the States in their car
they kept failing to get off the highway
when they wanted to and were swept along to the next city.
However, one nation above all others lives scrupulously
by its traffic regulations—the Swiss.
In Switzerland, if you were simply to anticipate a traffic light,
the chances are that the motorist behind you
would take your number and report you to the police.
What is more, the police would visit you;
and you would be convicted.
The Swiss take their rules of the road so seriously
that a driver can be ordered to appear in court
and charged for speeding on hearsay alone,
and very likely found guilty.
There are slight regional variations
among the French, German and Italian speaking areas,
but it is generally safe to assume
that any car bearing a CH sticker
will be driven with a high degree of discipline.


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