- I came here by car as I live in Ajka about thirty kilometres from here. If we hadn’t got a car, I must have taken the early morning coach to get here in time. Although it is not very cheap, I like driving. A car is always quick and comfortable. The traffic was not particularly heavy on the motorway and nothing out of the ordinary happened. I managed to park the car in the car park across the road. The whole journey from my home to here didn’t take more than half an hour.
- In most big cities people have a wide choice of vehicles as public transport services consist of buses, trams, suburban trains, the underground system and perhaps trolley buses. Day by day the inhabitants have to travel long distances to and from work and school and most of them use the public transport network. In addition to the inhabitants lots of people commute and go to work in big cities and thus public transport has to handle an enormous number of passengers. I sometimes cannot avoid going to the capital and I prefer using the public transport services to driving because of the heavy traffic. Perhaps the taxi is the most comfortable, but also the most expensive means of transport. The yellow tram is the cheapest and generally the slowest, but also the most frequent vehicle after the underground. It works by electricity and has a pair of fixed rails and electric wires so it doesn’t pollute the air as much as buses do. The trolley bus is a mixture of trams and buses; it has rubber tyres but runs on electricity. The underground railway is definitely the quickest means of transport as it goes under the ground so it never gets into traffic jams. It runs every other minute. Every vehicle stops at determined distances. If you want to get off you signal to the driver by pushing a button (except the underground railway, the tram), which is nearest to you and the bus comes to a halt at the next stop. Stops are marked with signs of different colours for different types of vehicles. Trams usually run in the middle of the road so at the tram stops there are special islands for pedestrians. Before getting on a vehicle we have to take care for our tickets because of the no-conductor system. Tickets for buses, trams and the underground are on sale at termini, major news-stands, tobacconist’s, shops and post offices, but not on board the vehicles themselves. Tickets for suburban trains must be purchased at the railway stations. Fares for suburban trains vary according to the distance. Other vehicles charge a flat rate for a ticket. Ticket prices have gone up so many times recently thus one cannot really follow these changes in prices. You perhaps had better buy a season/monthly ticket. It is valid from the first of the month till the fifth of the next month. You put the ticket in a machine, pull the handle and your ticket will be punched. You have to keep your ticket while travelling as inspectors make occasional spot-checks on tickets and you can expect quite a hefty fine if yours isn’t in order. If you are a fare dodger, the ticket inspector may fine you to several thousand forints. The taxi or the car is perhaps the most convenient way of travelling in a town. Cars are waiting at taxi ranks and can be called on the street or by telephone. They are quite expensive, though, so people only use them when they are in an unknown town and don’t know how to get about it, or when they have a lot of luggage to carry or even when they go out somewhere in the evening and don’t want to drive. The fare is recorded on a meter, which a passenger can see from his seat.
The best point about cycling to work or school is that it is cheap. It also helps you to keep fit unless there is too much smog to breathe in on the way. It can be quite quick because it doesn’t need much space for overtaking; there can be no problems with parking either. You will definitely not get a parking ticket if it is parked in the wrong place. The worst thing about cycling is that you are in danger if you ride the bicycle in the busy place. It doesn’t protect you from bad weather either. What’s more if you don’t lock it properly, it can easily be stolen. cycling lane – biciklizár , to lock-lezárni
- In Hungary you can get a driving licence from the age of 18, but before you get it you first have to pass a theoretical test and a practical one. In the theoretical part you are asked about the rules of the Highway Code and if you pass this test you are allowed to attempt driving with the examiner sitting next to you. First you take a â€œroutine exam mixed with a technical exam” including U-turns, three-point turns, reserving into a narrow space and other manoeuvres and you certainly have to show the examiner that you know the car’s technical side such as changing fuses or any wheel, oil level checking or lights test etc. Then comes the next test called â€œdriving in or around the town”. Between the previous ones you are expected to take a health theoretical exam too. You will still need a health certificate to testify that there is nothing wrong with your health that hinders you from driving. Anyway, people don’t often pass the first time. We have got a Suzuki Ignis, which we bought a brand-new style two years ago. It was worth buying it because it is swift, economical and comfortable. Its only one disadvantage is its a bit high petrol consumption. The interior space is more than enough for four people. It does not have much luggage space though unless you remove the rear seats. When we bought it, we were happy to see that the body is new and it had got 0 km. We like it because it is silent, has a good acceleration and has never let us down. A car virtually consists of two basic parts; the wheels and the body. Under the bonnet are the parts that basically move the car: the engine, the cylinders, the carburettor, the shafts, the battery, the spark plugs and the petrol tank. The things that the driver has to manipulate while driving are the clutch, accelerator and brake pedals, the handbrake and the steering wheel. The speedometer and the different indicator lights are on the dashboard. What you can see on a car from the outside are the headlights, the registration number on the number-plate, the windscreens with wipers, the bumpers, the rear view mirror, the boot, the mudguard and the rear indicator lights. Under the car are the chassis and the exhaust pipe. The starting of the car: when I get into our car I first put the ignition key into the keyhole and I turn it by switching on the ignition. Then I push down the clutch pedal and turn the key while starting the engine. Then I put the gear lever into first gear. (Then if the handbrake was pulled in I take off it). I let out the clutch pedal slowly while pushing down the accelerator pedal and thus the car moves off.
An MOT test is a compulsory test on cars done at determined intervals over a certain age. It is important to have your car MOT-ed regularly, because it may turn out to be unfit for driving. In that case it endangers both your and other motorists’ lives.
The most frequent types of driving offences are: improper parking, reckless switching between traffic lanes and driving through the red lights. Unfortunately these drivers aren’t always fined as traffic wardens cannot be present everywhere. So in most cases offending drivers get away without a fine and sometimes they are just let off with a caution. In fact it hasn’t been true recently because of the â€œ0-toleranceâ€œ.
- The problem of modern traffic is caused by a lot of different factors. The most acute is perhaps the constant congestion on the roads, traffic islands, pavements and in the vehicles themselves. Urban areas are beginning to get choked and traffic has slowed down immensely. Because of the large number of cars pouring onto roads travelling about towns has become very difficult, and the environment has become more polluted. Public transport has deteriorated and the roads are also in an awful state of repair. The general view now is that the roads as well as public transport need to be improved and not allowed to deteriorate further. Ring roads have been built around larger towns to prevent city centres from seizing up entirely. Heavy goods vehicles have been banned out of Budapest even the use of cars is restricted to prevent constant traffic jams and pollution. Greater use of one-way streets and computer-controlled sets of traffic lights may also help the traffic flow. Several pedestrian subways and vehicle underpasses are being built at crossings.
There is a high number of road accidents in this country, but fortunately they don’t all end with deaths. In most cases they result in bodily injuries. I think drivers, pedestrians and road conditions can be blamed for this. Drivers who drive too fast and without any consideration for others, and the ones who think they are safe at the wheel even though they have drunk too much. Pedestrians, who step off the pavement without first looking to the left or right, cross the roads when the traffic lights are against them or those who jump off moving vehicles. In most places and especially at busy junctions traffic lights control the traffic. The green light lets cars through while the red light tells them stop and amber means wait. The automatic light system allows you to pass along the main roads without stops. There are other signs on the road too, which either give you direct orders or warn you of possible danger. There are also direction signs, cat’s eyes, mile posts and signs painted on the road. A good driver has to know what they all mean and has to follow their instructions. He must also know the Highway Code.
In Hungary we drive on the right opposite to England where people drive on the left. It would be difficult for you to be used to driving on the left, I think. You have to keep to (observe) the speed limit everywhere. In Hungary you can drive 50 kilometre/hours in a town, 90 on the main road and 130 on the motorway. But there are some sign-posts which control the speed e.g. near schools, zebra crossings, housing estates, heavy bends etc. In a junction you have to give way to the one coming from the main road. It is signed by a priority sign. There is an extended form of this one called â€œStop! And give way”. At this time first you have to stop definitely. There is no sign-post in a co-ordinate junction and a certain â€œright-hand rule” pre-dominates here. General rule is that you have to be careful for the older people, kids, bikers, dogs etc. You mustn’t turn around or reserve in a bridge or in a level crossing. Certainly if you can see an accident you are liable to help others and you have to call the ambulance and police.
Places for traffic in towns, outside towns
In town: carriage-way, one-way street, junction, cul-de-sac, lay-by, avenue, roundabout, pedestrians precinct, level crossing, flyover, bridge
Outside town: motorway, main road, ring road, roundabout, slip road, central reserve
Some traffic signs
To give orders: give away, no overtaking, maximum speed limit, no stopping, no parking, end of restriction, no entry
To warn of danger: slippery road, road narrows, railway crossing, caution, dangerous bend to right
To give information: motorway, parking, filling station, dead end, hospital, zebra crossing, bus stop
Breathalyser, horn, to collide, to fasten the seatbelts, bottleneck, driving on the left (in England), to overtake
Points – váltó (vasútnál)
Barrier; gate – sorompó
Készítette: Somogyi Péter – [email protected]