U.S. warns of driving risks in Cuba


Two Americans jailed, five others cannot leave island, U.S. government says.
   It's not just Canadian visitors finding themselves in trouble with Cuban authorities because of traffic accidents on the island.
  According to the United States diplomatic mission in Havana, accidents involving U.S. citizens are on the rise. Two Americans were jailed recently because of driving offences, two others are under house arrest and three have been told they cannot leave Cuba, presumably while investigations continue.
   “We urge you to take extra safety precautions when driving to avoid problems during your stay in Cuba,” the mission warned Friday. See a Miami Herald report here and read this traffic and road safety advisory from the U.S. State Department.
   Canada remains the largest source of visitors to Cuba, but an increasing number of Americans are taking advantage of relaxed restrictions on travel to the island. Many are Cuban-American who would be more likely to take the wheel there than visitors from other countries.
   “Unconfirmed reports suggest that accidents involving motor vehicles are now the leading cause of accidental death in Cuba,” the warning said.
   It detailed problems ranging from poor, unlit roads to vehicles that lack turn signals, and said drivers in accidents can be jailed for up to 10 years.

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