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Old 25th August 2009, 17:17   #61
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I follow the two golden rules :
1. I will not jump a red light even if the car behind me (which usually turns out to be a cab or a bus) honks to the point of deafness.
2. When in doubt slow down. I rather reach my destination 10mins late than never.
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Old 26th August 2009, 09:17   #62
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I follow the two golden rules :
1. I will not jump a red light even if the car behind me (which usually turns out to be a cab or a bus) honks to the point of deafness.
2. When in doubt slow down. I rather reach my destination 10mins late than never.
The issue I have started having these days about the redlight thing is the risk of getting rammed when I slow down for a redlight. So the decision as to when to stop as the lights change now has to be done looking at the rear view as well, to optimize the total risk. Crazy, but that is life on the roads in India. Not jumping is also fine, but what do you do if there are three lanes, you are at the head of one, or even the second car in one, and everyone else has zoomed off in anticipation of the green. If you stay put, you can actually cause an accident. By someone hitting you, or swerving around you into the lanes that have started to move.
Moving on, more food for thought to those who are still reading this thread. Studies indicate that there is a very high correlation between GDP levels, corruption levels and road deaths, and these studies also indicate that on the basis of the GDP projections, the Indian road death statistics will level off only by 2042!
When I think about this, it is really not a surprise. What is happening on the roads is only a symptom of the disease in the country. Unless the disease is addressed, there will not be any sustained progress in any of its symptoms.
Which again says to me that only thing I have full control over is how I act and react to things around me. And even that is debatable, seeing that for most of the time, I am only reacting to various stimuli, in auto pilot mode.
That still does not change the fact that be the change you want to see is the only thing that one can be sure of doing.
PS: I was caught once, for jumping a red. I was the second in a lane, with two lanes on either side. Everyone took off, and I did too, for concerns for my rear end, after some hesitation. That did it for me, because I was the only one slow enough for the cop to stop on the other side.

Last edited by Sawyer : 26th August 2009 at 09:21. Reason: PS
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:59   #63
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The issue I have started having these days about the redlight thing is the risk of getting rammed when I slow down for a redlight.
Sawyer,

I couldn't agree more. This happened to me just this morning enroute to work. I was cruising at 50 km/hr when I approached an amber light that was going to turn red. As there is a time delay between the next signal turning green, most imbiciles speed up and try and jump the red light.

Here's what happened. I slowed down to almost a crawl and a Getz behind me slowed down as well. Behind the Getz was a Santro (driven by a college kid) who instantly darted out on the left lane to try and jump the signal. An Optra that was in the left lane and was heading to take a free right collided with the Santro's left side. The Optra must have been doing about 40 km/hr and the Santro's left door was badly damaged. The Optra also suffered damages in the form of broken fog lamps, headlight and dented bonnet.

So as you mentioned, by even following the rules and in this case lane discipline, you inadvertantly cause an accident which can be very frustrating!
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Old 26th August 2009, 11:27   #64
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@Gpa - Goodness, I must have a sixth sense, given that it happened just around the time I wrote about this!!
More on the corruption and law enforcement subject, that will give more to mull over.
The book refers to a study done in New York, between 1997 and 2002, when diplomats at the UN could be given parking tickets, but there was no enforceable punishment for not paying them. Thus empowered, diplomats racked up some 150000 parking tickets.
Here is the interesting part. The diplomats that got the most tickets tended to be from the countries deemed to be most corrupt by the Transparency International Index. Sweden, Norway, Japan and Denmark picked up no tickets - deemed as among the least corrupt countries. These countries were scrupulous about following the law, even in the absence of enforcement. India was roughly half way down the list, just as it is in the corruption index.
In a different study, the difference in the road fatality rates between Belgium and the Netherlands is high, more than twice, at the same GDP levels. But this is found to correlate to the difference in their standing on the same corruption index, where Netherlands is number nine, to Belgium's tenth place.
It seems that corruption is more likely the disease that is holding back development, and also driving other symptoms, like road fatalities in India and many other countries.
I see on the headlines today that Ratan Tata has raised his voice against corruption - time to scoot over and see just what he had to say!
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Old 26th August 2009, 11:51   #65
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to Belgium's tenth place.
Oops, correction, Belgium is twentieth.
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Old 26th August 2009, 11:56   #66
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Well Sawyer, We have probably the best set of laws in the world, but what about implementation. The whole system stinks right from the stage where Licenses are issued to place where road laws are to be implemented.

I resolve to be forthright for a while (it could be any XYZ for that matter). What happens then?
1) No chance of getting license till you grease the palms of someone
2) Stop at red light when there is no thulla and face the risk of being rammed from behind
3) Follow laws and watch hopelessly as every two bit person break them with impunity and worse still getting away and showing a bad smirk at you for being so forthright.

No law works on the premise that there will be 100% compliance automatically. All laws work on the deterrence factor. If you are caught the penalty will be so huge that you will regret breaking it for quite a while. The moment this deterrence factor is lost, the efficacy is lost. This unfortunately is the case in India with Pandus simply lining their pockets.

Be it tougher laws against rash driving or against jaywalking/speeding/any XYZ offence, till we sort out the implementation, it will be innocent guys like many of us in the forum who will face the music, not the actual road users.

I might have become a cynic here, but I have suffered too much for being upright.
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Old 26th August 2009, 12:18   #67
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..........So as you mentioned, by even following the rules and in this case lane discipline, you inadvertantly cause an accident which can be very frustrating!
I don't think you need to feel that way - from what you say, the accident was the Santro driver's fault (and maybe also the Optra's if he was changing lanes without indicating). We have a bad enough situation on our roads without starting to feel that we have caused accidents by following the rules!

I suppose you meant a free left and not a free right?

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...the decision as to when to stop as the lights change now has to be done looking at the rear view as well, to optimize the total risk.......If you stay put, you can actually cause an accident........... PS: I was caught once, for jumping a red. I was the second in a lane, with two lanes on either side. Everyone took off, and I did too, for concerns for my rear end, after some hesitation. That did it for me, because I was the only one slow enough for the cop to stop on the other side.
While there's some risk of being rear-ended while slowing down for a red light, don't you think it's usually less than the risk of hitting or being hit by someone legitimately crossing the signal on green? Also depends on the traffic from the other roads of course. And, especially if there is a cop around, it is no excuse if you do hit someone moving on green.

On your example, I would've thought that being rear ended is less likely when there is a cop around as people are more likely to stop for a red if they see a cop. Or was he the one of the (very common) type who specialize in hiding behind a tree or lamp-post till they see a chance to jump out and make some money?

I think vikrantj was saying that once he stops for a red light he does not move till the green even if someone behind him gets tired of waiting and starts to honk. That's commendable. And not much chance of being rear-ended if you and the guy behind have already stopped. Which is why his second point is also relevant - slow down when in doubt. The higher your speed when you reach an amber the more the chance of getting rear ended when you slow down if you have a moron behind you.
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Old 26th August 2009, 12:41   #68
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@straightdrive - that is why I refer to risk optimization! Between the guy running down fillling your rear view, and the road ahead. Not a thing that should ever need to be done, I accept. And it happens more often at changing lights, and at off peak times, when the signals are not manned. Which raises the point that in India unmanned signals never work, and even Mumbai has fallen prey to this disease, I was dismayed to see. A flashing amber is actually safer if the signal does not have a cop in attendance.
And the cop was a few metres after the intersection, but the rest of the traffic that jumped the gun before I did had zoomed off into the distance!
I understand what Vikrant is suggesting, just pointing out the circumstances when even as simple a thing as that has a challenge surrounding it!
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Old 26th August 2009, 12:49   #69
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Originally Posted by aby View Post
..........I resolve to be forthright for a while (it could be any XYZ for that matter). What happens then?
1) No chance of getting license till you grease the palms of someone
2) Stop at red light when there is no thulla and face the risk of being rammed from behind
3) Follow laws and watch hopelessly as every two bit person break them with impunity and worse still getting away and showing a bad smirk at you for being so forthright....

I might have become a cynic here, but I have suffered too much for being upright.
Aby, natural enough to feel cynical with all this happening.

Taking your three points:

1) The situation being what it is, yes, people do have to grease palms to get a license. Don't blame them since it is necessary. I didn't have to myself but the driving school I went to probably factored it into their fees.
2) Getting hit from behind at a red light is a risk that exists, I agree, but not a 100% or even a most-of-the-time possibility, not yet at least. So luckily that risk isn't going to arise everytime and we need to keep using our anticipation, mirrors and common sense to try and reduce the risk as much as possible.
3) It is easy and natural to ask "what's the use of following laws when other break them?" That's a personal choice - either go along the same way as those people you called "two bit persons" or stop bothering about others and look out for ourselves.

My point - implementation may be lacking but that by itself is not an excuse for people who know better to break the rules. The people responsible for implementing traffic and road related laws - the police, the RTO - are humans like ourselves. If they are at fault for not implementing them, we are at fault for not following them too.
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Old 26th August 2009, 13:17   #70
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Road safety in India is deteriorating rapidly and we are seeing more and more reckless driving and scant respect for life.

I like to highighten the very much neglected aspect of child safety. How safe are our children on these roads?

Statistics show that there is a dramatic rise in child road deaths and injuries in recent years in particular. In every accident, children are especially at risk.
As pedestrians, they are less able than adults to assess danger. Their smaller bodies make it harder to see and be seen and are more vulnerable to devastating impact injuries. By letting children travel loose in cars, parents and caretakers expose them daily to the risk of sudden violent death. No matter what car you drive and how carefully you drive it, remember it will be another driver that hits you. The simple law of physics dictates that, upon impact, even at low speeds, your unsecured child will fly through the air, like a bullet through the glass to certain death on the road or suffer devastating head or spinal cord trauma from hurtling like a pinball around inside the car. Brain or spinal cord injury is a life sentence for the entire family.

Groups like ours should play an active role in spreading the message of child safety and create awareness among the public. We, ourselves should act as role models.
Many among the public look upon child seats as some form of luxury and many even travel with children in front seats.

There is a wrong perception among both public and policymakers that road crash death and injury is the price that society must pay for development and mobility. On the contrary, there is nothing inevitable about them. Nearly all crashes are due to reckless or negligent driver behaviour, poor road/vehicle conditions and, far from being accidents.
We, both public and officials must seriously think of means to reduce significantly the costly and avoidable tragedy of road crashes. Preventing accidents is by far more cost-effective than funding medical and rehabilitation for road trauma victims. This requires tremendous political will and deliberate action by a coalition of government, private sector and civil society.

In this selfish world people often think that accidents are for others.
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Old 26th August 2009, 13:54   #71
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@Gpa - Goodness, I must have a sixth sense, given that it happened just around the time I wrote about this!!
This was scary as I reached office, and checked this thread only to see what you had written!

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I suppose you meant a free left and not a free right?
Apologies, yes, I did mean a free left. The Optra driver was not a fault as he was in the right lane (in this case the left one) for the free left up ahead. I did not wait around to see the dramas post the accident as it was a narrow road leading up to the junction and both cars were already blocking the road.
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Old 26th August 2009, 14:10   #72
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Why not make some nice Team Bhp stickers about road safety/etiquette? We can buy and fix them on our bumpers, as well as distribute to friends to create awareness.
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Old 26th August 2009, 18:20   #73
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Quote:
By letting children travel loose in cars, parents and caretakers expose them daily to the risk of sudden violent death. No matter what car you drive and how carefully you drive it, remember it will be another driver that hits you. The simple law of physics dictates that, upon impact, even at low speeds, your unsecured child will fly through the air, like a bullet through the glass to certain death on the road or suffer devastating head or spinal cord trauma from hurtling like a pinball around inside the car. Brain or spinal cord injury is a life sentence for the entire family.
Kite Runner; glad to see another voice added to this particular cause.
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Old 26th August 2009, 18:24   #74
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Why not make some nice Team Bhp stickers about road safety/etiquette? We can buy and fix them on our bumpers, as well as distribute to friends to create awareness.
That can be a great way to get this going. But are we prepared to abide by what is written there? It could be embarassing...going by what I have read about how TBHPians are just as guilty as the next person.
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Old 26th August 2009, 20:00   #75
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Default Bus passengers arms ripped off in Kolkata

Read this:

Bus passengers' arms ripped off - Kolkata - City - NEWS - The Times of India

I was without any word after reading it this morning.
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