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Old 9th May 2011, 17:02   #181
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

The population crunch in our country is so bad that even the govt is helpless many times. Just refer to my earlier post and read about my experience with Delhi metro. And its not a one off incident. Its a daily ritual. The sheer volume of passengers is overwhelming. And to top it all civic sense and basic etiquette is just non existent in a majority of us. When the idea to start the Delhi metro was formed, everyone felt that this will just solve all the travel issues of the city. The buses at that time were a place for wrestling and not travelling. But as the metro came and expanded its network the ridership has gone up exponentially. So today the metro is way over-crowded already. The buses as usual continue to be filled to the maximum and the roads stay filled with cars. For those of you who haven't had a first hand experience of delhi metro let me tell you that as each train pulls into the station, the so called queue suddenly transforms into a mob. 95% of the people believe that they are smart enough to be excused from standing in the queue. With a big push and some shouting everyone just pushes the person in front of him without even bothering that there would be some people who need to disembark too at that station. To top it all up the security guards rather then trying to ensure that a queue is maintained , push the last person in the mob into the train before the gates close. This cycle is repeated every minute. As if this wasn't enough you have to also deal with pickpockets. The worst part of all this is that the system has an uncanny sense of getting on to your nerves very fast. Within a couple of days you will realise that if you wait for people to give you way then these monkeys will board the train leaving you no space to board. By the time the next train pulls in another group of equally rash holligans will be ready to thwart your effort of boarding the train. Sometimes you feel that the platforms should be handed over to the army or something :(.

So thats why I say that comparing us to other cities in the world is not fair at all. Nothing is gonna change in our country unless WE change and start valuing our and the other persons life. Breaking rules is a way of showing strength for many in our cities. For ex. I hate when anyone suggests that while driving an SUV, they can easily force there way through traffic. Thats the kind of attitude we have to deal with. Half of the congestion on our roads will be solved if we follow proper driving etiquette. But in India as soon as we encounter another car on the road, the first reflex is to honk, use the dipper and then overtake that car come what may. This whole approach has to change. But how will it change is beyond my comprehension. There is no respect for human life!

Sorry for the long rant. Just dropped off my parents at the airport. The 50kms drive just filled me with frustration. The road is filled with imbeciles who own a car but are short on owning some brains!

@vina: Yea thats what i thought. Actually all the cars in my family end up doing around 12-15k kms per year. Hence I didnt feel that the taxi is the right way. But ofcourse for those who drive less your point is totally valid. Everyone forgets to add the initial cost of buying th car LOL.

Last edited by drmohitg : 9th May 2011 at 17:10. Reason: spelling error
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Old 9th May 2011, 17:15   #182
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Half of the congestion on our roads will be solved if we follow proper driving etiquette. But in India as soon as we encounter another car on the road, the first reflex is to honk, use the dipper and then overtake that car come what may. This whole approach has to change. But how will it change is beyond my comprehension.
What you say is totally true. I will confess that my previous attitude was similar. There was an innate need to overtake the car in front. It was unrelenting, overpowering. Slowly I reasoned with myself that why do this. What benefit will I get by making everyone else on the road miserable.
Maybe this behaviour has to do with the subconscious feeling to go ahead all the time in a rat race. (I think we had a thread which talked about these aspects sometime back).

Another thing helped me.
This forum.

So it is basically a self education that helps. Will it help everyone? Probably not. However if the message slowly spreads, maybe things will improve.
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Old 9th May 2011, 17:22   #183
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@dot You have to be kidding me!! This is precisely the same thing that ran in my mind a couple of months back.. When driving my car and if i were to follow another car for a couple of kms my immediate reaction was to overtake that car at the first possible moment..

When i started thinking about it, this was the same answer that came to my mind.. "to be ahead of the race". We are a nation of starved resources and we want to be "first" in everything so that we dont get left out..

This is also the same reason why people want to be the first person standing in signals.. Not third or second.. But first.. Even if that means in some cases, obstructing the traffic that is going in the other directions!!
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Old 9th May 2011, 17:28   #184
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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None of the above includes the salary of a trained driver.
Also, any repairs whether accidental or routine should be factored in. Going by the stories of A.S.S. in other threads it could be substantial .

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I totally agree with the affluence part. That is what made my wife nag so much throughout last two years - and even now. She is not happy I didn't waste more money than I did - she wanted a Honda City which I can well afford but why should I?


In this discussion, I somehow feel everyone is blaming the poor infrastructure for our problems. True. But is anything being done about it. No. So either we wait for the infrastructure to improve or take some steps on our own to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand when it comes to parking and congestion.
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Old 9th May 2011, 17:31   #185
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I totally agree. We all have to change ourselves. I always try to stick to one lane. And if the need arises to change lanes use your ORVMs. The basic idea is not to cause inconvenience to others on the road. Changing lanes and making the person driving in that lane to break in order to avoid crashing into you is a crime. And it infuriates me to no end.

What I fail to understand is that why doesnt even education help change peoples attitude? If a bus/taxi driver does it, I am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But well educated morons do not deserve any sympathy. Simple things like driving on low beams, not honking at the site of every car on the road etc is just not there. Why? Even though I have been driving since many years now, my dad still points out if I make a mistake on the road.

The best and most agonizing part of the story is that put these same people in a foreign country and they wouldnt break a single rule!
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Old 9th May 2011, 17:56   #186
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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...

The best and most agonizing part of the story is that put these same people in a foreign country and they wouldnt break a single rule!

Actually, quite a few of them do break the rules when they first go out - pay the (huge - $200 upwards) fines and get to their senses pretty quickly .

Then the same guys come back, break the rules, and figure that if caught they'll have to shell out Rs. 100/- (i.e. $2) to get out of the mess.


I knew a guy in Cambridge who used to be a cop, he had stories about people coming from all over the world (Cambridge gets plenty of people in the university from all over - and many drive wrong out of habit e.g. right lane driving) - but for south asians he would typically find that the guy overspeeding/cutting lanes/ doing other such funny stuff invariably was new to UK.
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Old 9th May 2011, 18:29   #187
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I totally agree. We all have to change ourselves.
Well said. And I do believe this will resolve a huge percentage of the discussed issue. For example, in one road in east bangalore (tipsandra main road), I always see the bikes are parked on the left hand side and after bike, there's a lane of the cars! And this eats up half of the width of the busy road! Well, I agree there's a scaricity of the parking space but that does not give us the 'license' to park in such way! This is just an example and am sure we all have such memories to share.

It remembers me one incidence in UK. My friend was droping me from office to my serviced apaprtment in his Camry (wow, what a car, thats a different story!! ). In UK there's a Bus lane which can be used by Bus or Taxis only. I asked him, "what happens if any private car take the Bus Lane?". The asnwer was - "200 GBP fine". I asked, "are there cameras through out the road?". Reply - "No, but all the bus and taxis have cameras behind. If they see any private car on the lane, the drivers will take the pix immediately!". So what I learned is that the heavy fine and good governance have made the western countries disciplined. The same are required in India as well.
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Old 9th May 2011, 18:49   #188
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Actually, quite a few of them do break the rules when they first go out - pay the (huge - $200 upwards) fines and get to their senses pretty quickly .

Then the same guys come back, break the rules, and figure that if caught they'll have to shell out Rs. 100/- (i.e. $2) to get out of the mess.
I guess what you are saying is true. I remember visiting my brother when he was doing his masters in Boston, USA. Now there is this rule in Boston that the right to cross the road first belongs to the pedestrian. Basically translates into that the car should slow down or stop to let people who are walking cross the road. Don't know if similar rules exist in other cities too. I am sure they do as it depicts the generally well behaved western etiquette. But what this guy used to do was just blindly and many a times purposely cross the road when a vehicle is approaching. At first i thought that he did it by mistake. But soon i realised that he was deriving some sort of sadistic pleasure out of all this. The cars used to break hard and stop. And then this guy will show the driver the finger and some abusive words and walk off.
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Old 9th May 2011, 20:52   #189
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
What I fail to understand is that why doesnt even education help change peoples attitude? If a bus/taxi driver does it, I am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But well educated morons do not deserve any sympathy. Simple things like driving on low beams, not honking at the site of every car on the road etc is just not there. Why? Even though I have been driving since many years now, my dad still points out if I make a mistake on the road.

The best and most agonizing part of the story is that put these same people in a foreign country and they wouldnt break a single rule!
Education has nothing to do with the values that are instilled in us. It's values that determine how we go about our daily lives. It also has to do with how we respect the laws of our country and that of others. It's the value system that needs to evolve and change to see rational thought taking precedence over emotional ones. With such a change, one can possibly think of not having a car. Or maybe restrict oneself to a bike or scooter.

Last edited by smashnerd : 9th May 2011 at 20:55.
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Old 9th May 2011, 21:30   #190
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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I guess what you are saying is true. I remember visiting my brother when he was doing his masters in Boston, USA. Now there is this rule in Boston that the right to cross the road first belongs to the pedestrian. Basically translates into that the car should slow down or stop to let people who are walking cross the road. Don't know if similar rules exist in other cities too. I am sure they do as it depicts the generally well behaved western etiquette. But what this guy used to do was just blindly and many a times purposely cross the road when a vehicle is approaching. At first i thought that he did it by mistake. But soon i realised that he was deriving some sort of sadistic pleasure out of all this. The cars used to break hard and stop. And then this guy will show the driver the finger and some abusive words and walk off.

Well those are the "right of way" regulations and they come under different jurisdictions. On Highways for example pedestrians do not have any right of way. But within city centers it is usually the pedestrians who have the right of way - this is especially true in university towns.

What your friend (was it your brother?) was doing was probably illegal - it is called jaywalking and is a misdemeanor in several places if I'm not wrong (legally inclined guys please correct me.) He could get arrested at the very least if he did this when a cop was watching.
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Old 9th May 2011, 21:41   #191
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

No No it wasn't my brother. Him I would have fought with there and then. It was a friend of his studying the same course.
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Old 9th May 2011, 21:44   #192
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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I totally agree. We all have to change ourselves.

What I fail to understand is that why doesnt even education help change peoples attitude?

The best and most agonizing part of the story is that put these same people in a foreign country and they wouldnt break a single rule!
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Originally Posted by musafir_blr View Post
Well said. And I do believe this will resolve a huge percentage of the discussed issue.

So what I learned is that the heavy fine and good governance have made the western countries disciplined. The same are required in India as well.
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Education has nothing to do with the values that are instilled in us. It's values that determine how we go about our daily lives. It also has to do with how we respect the laws of our country and that of others.
Friends, have a look at this thread also, in case you haven't already.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...l-jumping.html (A remedy to stop signal jumping)
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Old 9th May 2011, 22:14   #193
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

On my second day in the US, I went walking. Less than 50 meters into a freeway, realized something was wrong. Turned around. Cop picked me up and dropped me back at the hotel. Its illegal and you can be arrested for it.

Anyways I only received a warning and got to sit in a cop car, front seat.
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Old 9th May 2011, 22:59   #194
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

There have been some positive steps in Delhi at least. A lot of people, including my father who commutes 20 km a day by DTC bus, auto, then shared auto and then cycle rickshaw each side has been saying the new low-floor buses are very good. (He can't drive, and refuses to take my car with a driver, though I have offered for the last few years). He's much happier with the new buses.

That said, it will be a long time before most public transport solutions in India will be "decent" where women can travel without being groped and where men can reach office without gutkha on their shirts.

As far as rules are concerned, I think we, as a nation, are wired to break rules. I have never figured out why. It just beats me at times as to what was wrong with my education or upbringing that I find most other people on the roads (pedestrians and drivers alike) total morons.
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Old 9th May 2011, 23:21   #195
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I am sure a lot of us will stop using cars once alternatives are available, many people don't like driving or dealing with traffic and will shift given the first alternative however unlikely to find such folks here, this is a forum for auto-enthusiasts so the response here will is unlikely to be a fair reflection of the general population with the bias towards the slightest excuse to keep using cars.

I am sure for a large majority of folks here cars are more than just a way to get from a to b, which is why we are here, and its nothing to feel guilty about, many folks are interested in other things, a lot of folks are interested in automobiles but will always be a minority.
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