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Old 26th June 2006, 01:54   #16
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Amit, problem is some where else.
. I totally agree with everything you said Rudra. Thats why I said earlier :

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Everyone invovled has to make an effort to improve
If the PM or anyone of us believes that by giving a speech, things are going to improve then we are all living in a bollywood film.

Driving on Indian roads is a challenge. I am putting down one expereince I had where I was a victim of lack of courtsey on part of other drivers. Other members can put down theirs. Maybe we didnt show courtsey to fellow drivers and after we cooled down, we realised we had been rude. We can share that expereince too. The next time we are driving and are in a similar situation, maybe the expereinces of fellow bhpians will come to our minds and we will manage to defeat the urge to honk, abuse or glare at other drivers. Mods, maybe we can have a separate thread on our expereinces at being the victim or aggressor of lack of courtsey.

Once I was stuck in a traffic jam on the vashi bridge because there was an accident in the overtaking lane and everyone in that lane had to squeeze into the middle lane. Drivers knew there was a valid reason for other cars to change lanes and squeeze in but still no one was allowing the other drivers to move in. That was the reason of the jam. I wouldn't call that ignorance but lack of courtsey and ego and thats something no driving test, no matter how strict, can make you understand. When I stopped, allowing the car next to me to squeeze in, guess what happened. Another 2 cars moved in quickly blocking me out! who do i blame? The morons in front and behind me who weren't allowing cars in the next lane despite a valid reason or the 2 car drivers who saw a little window of oppurtunity and blocked me out. I can't blame them because they knew that no other car is going to show them courtsey like the Palio S10 just did and thats why they took their chances. Maybe I would HAVE TO do the same if I was in their place. To make matters worse, I was being honked at and abused for showing courtsey to fellow road users by cars behind me and the cars that blocked me out and squeezed in didn't bother to lift their hands up and acknowledge my good deed (something every driver does abroad when you give way to him). In short, I got s*** from everyone on the roads!

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Old 26th June 2006, 03:13   #17
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The biggest problem I find as a car driver in India is that slow moving traffic (autos and 2 wheelers) dosent give way to faster moving traffic.

If all the slow vehicles politely stayed in the left lane and let faster traffic pass, things would be a lot better.
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Old 26th June 2006, 10:03   #18
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You either have stated rules or have unstated rules to ensure that everybody is happy.

Stated rules are things that are defined in the traffic rules and regulations like not driving through a red light.

Unstated rules are things like avoiding honking if possible. There can be no law or rule which can actually dictate when is it legal to honk and when it is not.

Unstated rules requires everybody to know and follow these rules for it to work. Knowledge of these rules will only come through social interaction. If one person breaks the rule, he is reprimanded not by the law but the rest of the folks adhereing to that rule. This also requires maturity on the participants to ensure it works as desired.

In India, we have a problem with both with following Stated rules as well as unstated rules. This is a result of a combination of complete ignorance of rules, disregard for the rules and inadequate enforcement of the rules.

Most of the unstated rules are actually imports. For examaple, I came to know that honking is considered Bad Manners when I was abroad. So when I came back to India, I tried to adhere to this unstated rule and avoided using my horn as far as possible. To be very honest, it has neither improved nor deteriorated the way I get treated on the road. But I felt that I was contributing in a small way towards better road manners. If more and more people began following this, city driving will probably become more pleasureable. Just because nobody else follows rules, I also go ahead break the rule just ensures that it becomes worse.

I appreciate what the PM has pointed out because he did. He could have not brought this point at all. But he did. Did he gain any brownie points by doing so? Did he increase his vote bank by doing it? I don't think so. We need to contribute too to make driving better.

I don't know how many agree with me but this is my personal view.
I would also love to know what are the other good driving manners that will contribute to better driving. If I am not already following them, I will try and adopt them.
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Old 26th June 2006, 11:48   #19
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Guys, I don't understand why people try to find fault in PM's statement blaming him for blocking traffic with his convoys. I agree to an extent that VIP convoys are pain and there should be alternatives like using helicopters for them. But can our country afford that. In our country it’s not safe even for a successful business man to travel without security, so how do you expect a PM or President to travel all alone.

Coming to the point, because he is a PM, it's not his duty to see that we all follow our traffic rule, we all pay our taxes, we all are disciplined. All these issues should be rectified by one's own consciousness & responsibility. If PM himself has stated his opinion, we can expect in what a sorry situation we are behaving on the roads.

I would never wish somebody pointing me to follow rules and maintain discipline that was taught to me in school when I was in Class 2. I would take care of them my self before anybody notices that.
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Old 26th June 2006, 11:57   #20
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[quote=Mpower]The biggest problem I find as a car driver in India is that slow moving traffic (autos and 2 wheelers) dosent give way to faster moving traffic.

If all the slow vehicles politely stayed in the left lane and let faster traffic pass, things would be a lot better.[/QUOTE)
Buddy the problem to this is at a more higher level. Insuffucient infrastructure. 80 - 90% of the highways and 95 - 99% of urban roads don't have seperate roads or lanes for fast and slow moving traffic. Everybody has to share the same road. This is going to be like this atleast for a minimum of another decade. I wonder whether India can ever see such type of infrastructure.

Till then keep driving safe, follow traffic rules and share the road with slow moving traffic (it's not difficult if everybody follows rules).
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Old 26th June 2006, 12:47   #21
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[quote=satish_appasani]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
The biggest problem I find as a car driver in India is that slow moving traffic (autos and 2 wheelers) dosent give way to faster moving traffic.

If all the slow vehicles politely stayed in the left lane and let faster traffic pass, things would be a lot better.[/QUOTE)
Buddy the problem to this is at a more higher level. Insuffucient infrastructure. 80 - 90% of the highways and 95 - 99% of urban roads don't have seperate roads or lanes for fast and slow moving traffic. Everybody has to share the same road. This is going to be like this atleast for a minimum of another decade. I wonder whether India can ever see such type of infrastructure.

Till then keep driving safe, follow traffic rules and share the road with slow moving traffic (it's not difficult if everybody follows rules).
Road Infrastructure can never keep up. Cars will fill up all the road available. Only good and efficient Mass public Transportation system will help reduce this mess. If I find that a metro or an AC city bus is more convinient, faster and cheaper than travelling by my personal car, I would opt for it.
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Old 26th June 2006, 12:47   #22
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Originally Posted by Wheeliej
Hi, i hope it will not be considered derogatory to say that the Prime Minister should first drive around the city for ONLY 1 day without the entourage/escort car and without having ALL the policemen in the city guarding ALL the junctions so that no other vehicle slips in and without having right of way before he comments on how discourteous drivers are. I can very confidently that 1/2 an hour on Airport road on Monday morning, will make even our PM behave discourteously. It is very easy to sit on a high chair (and that is not only for the PM; it could be any one of the numerous politicians who get escort cars and VIP treatment) and advise people; but when you have to spend 30 minutes every morning and every evening trying to get past KR Puram or Marathahalli bridge on any weekday will make even the most normally courteous drivers resort to swearing (at the government and at each other).

took the words rite off my mouth there....very true..let alone the prime minister.. let our very own Mayor drive without any escort on a weekday morning.. lets' see wot he has to say then
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Old 26th June 2006, 13:34   #23
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well..well

I think we need to show regular videos of horrific accidents that cause all damage at prime time on TV as also Theatres..thereby educating the uneducated drivers.. The goverment should make it mandatory for All the TV Channels to air them at prime time..

While i do agree with some of you that we find it extremely difficult to drive during the peak hours, especially in Bangalore, The problem starts if we are courteous to some while some others start swearing at us.

Having the complete licensing system redone could be a herculean task..!!

I also agree that the Government servants should use the road more courteously. It is often obeserved that a vehicle with a "G" board [or the one with a red revolving lamp] is the one breaking the law [read as jumping a traffic light, parking right under the "No Parking" board, overtaking from the wrong side, verbally abusing people who refuse to give them way, even if we are driving at 50-60 Kmph, etc etc.

The Autos and the Buses add to our misery by being in the wrong lane or wrong speed,

While I appreciate the PM on his message, I do hope that some mass education on safe driving practices are initiated by the government and that too FAASSTT..
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Old 26th June 2006, 14:20   #24
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This is not a problem linked only to road manners or rules. I believe this is part of the general urban culture where there is no consideration for fellow human beings This is a basic feature of most of the indian cities as well as cities from other developing contries(I heard that situation is exactly same in cities like Manila). Here in Bangaore, people no more worry about harming/hurting others for their temporary gains. I am afraid what would happen in another 10-20 years, I mean our kids' time.
Hoping for the best/some miracle
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Old 26th June 2006, 17:12   #25
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privatise traffic police, ask them to send challans with the proof. a picture shot on the traffic signal or a video of overspeeding vehicle. i m sure the revenues would go up 10 times in one day.

along with that the fines should be in tune of the vehicle used to break the rule. i guess a 1% market cost of the vehicle wud b a good enough fine to start with as a big deterrant. what do u say guys?
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Old 26th June 2006, 17:59   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveendhyani
privatise traffic police, ask them to send challans with the proof. a picture shot on the traffic signal or a video of overspeeding vehicle. i m sure the revenues would go up 10 times in one day.

along with that the fines should be in tune of the vehicle used to break the rule. i guess a 1% market cost of the vehicle wud b a good enough fine to start with as a big deterrant. what do u say guys?
The Bangalore Traffic Police already does this in a primitive sort of way. I once got a computer generated Callan for wrongly parking my 2 wheeler in some road that I had never visited. SO I took a friend of mine with me to their office where I told them that I am disputing the charge because I was never on that road. So the officer retrived a CD based on the challan number and looked through the entire video and showed me the scooter. Well, luckily it turned out that the number was noted down wrongly and it wasn't my scooter.

We got chatting with him trying to understand how teh system works and he explained that the plain clothes men take regular camcorders and take a video of all the wrongly parked vehicles. The back office then burns the videos on a CD and numbers them. Then a set of people go through the video and note down the number of the vehicle and look up the RTO records, retrieve the address and dispatch the challan by mail.

Its not perfect but some start.

I was also thinking that it would perhaps be a good idea to actually paint the vehicle making the voilation with some stamp. I am not sure if that would be a deterrant. But it will definitely be a public humiliation of a dangerous driver. The owner will also have to repaint the vehicle to remove the tarnish
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Old 26th June 2006, 23:19   #27
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Very nice thread folks. We need much effective traffic control both in way of traffic administration (includes stringent license poilicy, most prompt traffic poilice with well defined and easyly executable punishment process) and traffic facilities (includes proper atleast moderate roads, adherent with the rules aformentioned with lan markings proper instruction boards etc).
We indians maintain our cars far better than people here in US. We have inherently more car control but just are immensely careless (like so many other things in life) about hazards and safety of ourselves and our fellow road users and our near and dear ones.
And like so many other things double standards of roads rules and execution policies make things much more complicated.
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Old 26th June 2006, 23:48   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit
To make matters worse, I was being honked at and abused for showing courtsey to fellow road users by cars behind me and the cars that blocked me out and squeezed in didn't bother to lift their hands up and acknowledge my good deed (something every driver does abroad when you give way to him). In short, I got s*** from everyone on the roads!
I hear you mate. I almost don't feel like showing courtesy back home, because the morons then start believing that it is their God given right. Still, if we who know better don't show courtesty ourselves, then will things ever change?
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Old 27th June 2006, 12:22   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
The biggest problem I find as a car driver in India is that slow moving traffic (autos and 2 wheelers) dosent give way to faster moving traffic.
If all the slow vehicles politely stayed in the left lane and let faster traffic pass, things would be a lot better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satish appasani
Buddy the problem to this is at a more higher level. Insuffucient infrastructure.
Satish, I agree with Mpower here. Imho, Itís not abt infrastructure, but how we use whatís available. To truly see the extent of the problem caused by people not giving way to others, drive/ride a SUV and see. People donít realize how much space they are taking, under-estimate how much space others need, and do no give way. It is not that he needs to pull over to give the other person some room.

How many times have we found a two-wheeler coming in between two cars and upsetting the flow ? Or a two wheeler getting in between four cars Ė between cars, between lanes ? Getting between two cars means he has two vehicles that will probably go in a straight line unlike other two wheelers, and hence he is in a better position. But he doesnít realize that being between cars means the vehicles that can hit him are bigger, and he is at a bigger risk than he was in when he was with another two wheeler. While doing that, he has just moved the pain and trouble to the car drivers. Also, by the very nature of a two wheeler, his line of movement isnít straight Ė he keeps moving, and a slight touch and heís down, and heís shouting with support of all by-standers that itís the car driverís fault.

A bikeís major advantage apart from FE, is itís maneuverability. But youíll so often find that the rider is inadvertently using that maneuverabilityto block others, when both could have got through any problems.

Autos drivers Ė theyíre great at dodging to make sure that their vehicles are never hit. Got to appreciate them for that. But, without a fare, heíll be in the middle of the road, doing 20kmph with a primary purpose of finding a fare, when you are in a tearing hurry to get to a meeting but have been delayed by Ö traffic.

Then again, not all drivers are like that. Look carefully, youíll find enough drivers who silently get around, trying to be polite, and not be a hinderance to others. The licencing system isnít great, and this not being helped by the rising demand in transportation. So we have a lot of fresh drivers, and many of these people do not mature as drivers. With the rising demand for transportation by companies, we also have a lot of people getting their licences and getting behind the wheels of cabs. Often, this sub-set of fresh professional drivers are focused more on getting ahead to the companyís office [because thatís what their contract needs them to].

Pls donít get me wrong here Ė not all pro drivers are un-courteous or bad. I have interacted with quite a few guys who are patient and nice on the road [no matter how they behave else where]. I have learnt a lot from these guys. And my thoughts are with the ST and city bus drivers who spend their whole day in those huge vehicles, in the midst of people who make the roads this chaotic, and yet bring back their vehicles quite safely. And itís not that I condone all that all of these guys do. [Pls note, I have mainly seen BLR, Mumbai & and some Chennai long back].

There was a point about tracking violations etc. The main problem here is that this tracking system cant go too far. A person could get his 3-4 violations [upto what ever limit] and then lose his licence. He could simply get another licence Ė may be from another city, and continue to drive. And more violations. Itís not like in the US where to get a licence, the SSN is mandatory. Or a TIN. We do not have such a system of unique, once-in-a-life-time issued numbers to use for tracking applicants and drivers.

Another thread I had read was about a National co-ordinated drive. The idea was good, but frankly I donít feel very optimistic about that. We donít have the numbers, and driving like that would possibly get us some comments abt being crazy and not much to do types, more than getting us appreciation that translates into a few more courteous drivers on the road. Sorry guys, for being on the pessimistic side on this one.

Rambling on, the condition of the roads also contribute to whatís happening Ė congestion, frustrated drivers .. Itís not that the govt is spending any less on roads. They still have to pay full value, but the quality of roads is such that the road crumbles in no time. Next steps Ė
driving speeds come down = lower FE.
Congestion on roads = further reduction in FE.
Detours to avoid bad roads = using more fuel.
Bad roads = bad vehicles = more maintenance costs for owners.
And another un-necessary round of road-laying for the govt, with money that could have been used on something else.
And by doing things this way, we end up getting higher demand for petroleum imports Ė calculation isnít difficult .. higher import bills, bigger losses for petro companies, increase in fuel costs for us ..

Rant, rant, rant ..
Sorry guys, just trying to take out my frustration on the state of things and for the need to have better driving environment.
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Old 27th June 2006, 14:23   #30
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Important reasons for the wretched state of traffic on Indian roads -- too many vehicles on too narrow and pot-holed roads; out-dated, slow and polluting vehicles; above all, lousy law enforcement encourages people to violate traffic rules. There are no short-cuts if we want better traffic conditions -- need to improve roads (with proper signs at various intersections), phase out old vehicles, not permit autos or anything slower on congested areas, and above all - we need a proper, rigorous system for issuing driving licences. Further, we need to start on the painful process of computerizing the DL system, so that the data is available to cops on the spot when violators are caught (cops ought to have the ability to instantly check the authenticity of the licences, find out previous violations, etc., as is the case in advanced nations). Could go on and on and on, but what's the point?
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