Sunday, October 6, 2013

Acostamento - Bertioga...and everywhere in Brazil...

The guys heading down the shoulder are doing so at everyone's peril.

When we were at the São Paulo shoreline a few weeks ago, we had a terrible return to São Paulo of about 4 1/2 hours on what was normally a three-hour journey. There were just too many cars on what was a two-lane road winding through beach towns with speed bumps and the occasional rotary. As we stopped and started, we were driven to fury by the cars who traveled along the shoulder of the road passing us all on the right.
Traveling on the shoulder (Portuguese: acostamento) is a habit that is not only totally illegal but extremely dangerous. There just must not be enough traffic cops to police it because it would be a most excellent way to get your month-end numbers of traffic tickets. We were traveling at less than 5 mph and these folks were "whizzing" along at at least 30 mph.

A big issue with this is the fact that most beach dwellers (I mean the residents, not the visitors) travel by foot if they do not travel by chicken bus (you know the ones that are non-airconditioned and stuffed full of all manner of man and beast). They travel on the shoulder of the road because there is no such thing as a sidewalk and usually the tropical flora comes right up to the roadway. It is amazing to me that more people are not killed by illegal shoulder travelers.

If the traffic cops ever do wake up and catch you, that's a fine and five points off your license. And I'd like to give you a slap just for doing it. 

From October 4 through October 13, I will not have access to internet. All blog posts for these dates are “pre-recorded” and I will not be able to respond to any comments until October 14.


  1. YES! Thank you for posting about this outrage. The selfishness is shocking. We faced the same situation one Sunday afternoon recently, and I was livid, giving the shoulder-drivers the finger. It really brought out a side of me that is uncivilized, such as wishing there were those "drive here and your tires will shred" things we could place in the acostamento. DER could make SO much money giving tickets.

    1. One time coming back on Fernao Dias, there were cars passing on the right and a huge truck in front of us just placed himself over the yellow line and wouldn't let anyone pass. He would swerve to warn them. Loved it. I am too scared to do that stuff myself!!