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Old 22nd February 2015, 07:22   #31
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

I can truly sympathize with this. I commute on 25% of the length of the notorious ring road in Bangalore, through its non-swanky parts between Jayanagar and Mysore Road , every day. A 5 km journey has 11 signals, varying from 30s stops to 180s ones often one needs to sit through multiple cycles during 8-10 am and 4-7 pm peaks.
The way in which the road is designed and the turn offs(right handed ones) are placed ensures that there are about 8 lane changes that are needed.
Thrice the stop at red strategy has resulted in some one actually banging into me from behind, as they are in a mad rush to beat the lights. Once , it was serious enough for a helmet less rider to be sent to a hospital with a nasty cut on his brow.
What was surprising was that the cop on duty, chastised me for slowing down and stopping!
The worst experience is during early mornings and late evenings, when most commuters including concerned parents with kids, software engineers on commutes and even cops give the lights the go by.
It is downright dangerous as I am constantly worried about a truck or bus not stopping in time. The other danger is of people zooming during the pedestrian crossing time, which in Bangalore at least is accompanied by the visual assistance hooters.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 10:25   #32
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
As mentioned in bits & pieces, there are 3 solutions for this.

1. People feel the need and importance to follow the rules, by themselves
2. Enforce this and levy H-E-F-T-Y fines (deploy cameras and recover the cost in less than a month with the current rates of offence). Am NOT exaggerating, Kerala police achieved this on a highway, a metropol is gonna be a lot easier.
3. Follow the rule yourself and let others who want to make the mistake, if they want.
I agree to what you are saying. However, I feel the 'hefty' fine should be applied on the 'time' of the offender and not his wallet. That is because unless we have a system of determining the fine based on the offender's financial status, the poor are going to be disproportionately punished. But if we have a system like so-and-so hours of community service in addition of the current fines, the punishment will be much more universal. That way, we can get the social shame back in the equation.

From most of the above posts, its obviously the police who will need to get the ball rolling. However, the orders for that to happen will have to come from the government. That will happen only when there is enough public pressure.

We are obviously waiting for a tipping point of sorts. How much vehicular anarchy is too much? In the minds of the general population, what is the point where the number of people demanding action will suddenly jump up? Maybe it is the point when the average commuter stops listening to the traffic police.

We are already at the point where it seems the traffic police have all but given up on the situation. I was on the Pune police website where the traffic section has a ton of updates about enforcement drives of various sorts. Maybe the consistency of enforcement is part of the problem. For example, for one week, stopping on a zebra crossing is fined. next week it isn't.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 11:02   #33
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All the venting and cynicism on this site aside, the solution is simple but not easy... Proper enforcement of the law.

This is clearly evident when you cross into Chandigarh from Punjab. The same people jumping lights in Punjab become disciplined in Chandigarh.

Chandigarh police does its job well, setting up checkpoints for speeding etc. even on Sundays sometimes!

The laws already in place, if enforced will result in massive change.

We also have a police force with an inferiority complex . This from the culture put in place from being imperial watchdogs in colonial times
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Old 22nd February 2015, 12:18   #34
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

To put in a nutshell, the above situation is because of two things:

1. Presence of Ignorance and Indiscipline
2. Lack of governance and enforcement

I personally 'LOVE' to obey the rules of the road and respect every other motorist on the road, provided they feel the same way. Unfortunately, in our country while there is diversity in a lot of things, I can safely say that at least as far as flouting road rules are concerned, there is strong unity.

There seems to be scant regards with most motorists in terms of following rules as well as with the police in terms of enforcing them. We belong to a country where in addition to fully functional traffic lights, a policeman is required to ensure adherence. I shudder to stop peacefully on seeing a red light because I don't know if the vehicle behind me plans to stop or jump the signal. Should I be religious in obeying the law and end up with a rear-ended car or should I be focused on getting away unscathed by breaking the law ?

I think there has been enough of education done on this and the only way to get things in order is to crack the whip with strong enforcement. It could begin with something as trivial as curbing stop line violation and then moving on to the other violations.

Governments keep coming and going and there is no one I feel that has taken up this issue of road discipline ever. Maybe some pockets of the country might have witnessed some improvement but overall the situation is not a desirable one.

Last edited by rr_zen : 22nd February 2015 at 12:21.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 13:07   #35
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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Originally Posted by braindead View Post
...However, I feel the 'hefty' fine should be applied on the 'time' of the offender and not his wallet. That is because unless we have a system of determining the fine based on the offender's financial status, the poor are going to be disproportionately punished. ...
Can't really justify the logic of "poor getting punished disproportionately". Anyone who owns a car or a bike is NOT "poor", unless we have some really strange definitions. Community service is good, but please note that it doesn't help save the costs incurred to deploying devices. If the lower income group falls in line, 80% of the offences will be taken care of? Then we probably can bring in the "time" punishment as well; but the hefty fine need to stay to keep things in control.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 13:40   #36
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

This problem is not India-specific. Have you seen how people drive in NY or Paris? LOL. Any place that has high density of people / vehicles will have this problem. Of course I hate it because it means I have to slow down and look for retards (jaywalkers, other drivers) even when the light is green for me. Things will get a lot worse, before they start to get better. If your circumstances and desire allow it, migrate to a better place.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 20:35   #37
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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If your circumstances and desire allow it, migrate to a better place.
This is not a very encouraging statement for the problem posed. But I have a cousin who was born & brought up in Chennai, but now settled in Azerbaijan, who refuses to come back and settle down here only because of the lack of civility, more particular in roads, generally in all other areas too!
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Old 22nd February 2015, 20:52   #38
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

I face this situation all the time in Pune. Let me share an interesting observation. I see vehicles in front of me jumping the red signal, but the moment I come to a halt, many vehicles that were behind me also come to a halt. Believe me, until I stop, no one would stop at the signal. May be my behavior on the road is prompting others to behave the same way or at least making them conscious about the traffic rules. This seems to be a case of leading by example.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 21:33   #39
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

In Pune, this problem has multiplied many fold in the last 2-3 years. One nutcase gets impatient and breaks the signal. Instantly as if on cue, all others follow him without any reason or thought. The only I solution, I can see is that the police should get tough with such people blatantly violating rules on the road. And to make the police tough, the laws should be made more stringent and with less no of loopholes. Of course, it's easier said than done. It will be many years before we get to see some law and order being followed by the people here.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 23:44   #40
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+1 on the feeling of being an idiot. Have faced this many times in last few years on Pune roads. While it's reasonable to expect a solution from authorities, I don't think it would come unless the biggest community of car enthusiasts start an initiative to improve the driving conditions. I am game for a peaceful education /awareness drive or any other measures where I can contribute
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Old 23rd February 2015, 00:00   #41
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Can't really justify the logic of "poor getting punished disproportionately". Anyone who owns a car or a bike is NOT "poor", unless we have some really strange definitions. Community service is good, but please note that it doesn't help save the costs incurred to deploying devices. If the lower income group falls in line, 80% of the offences will be taken care of? Then we probably can bring in the "time" punishment as well; but the hefty fine need to stay to keep things in control.
I am not saying the monetary fine should be eliminated, and I agree that the fines should increase with inflation. I am advocating community service in addition to the fines.

The same amount of monetary fine will have drastically different impacts depending on the financial situation of the law-breakers.
For example: Having a fine of Rs 25,000. for an invalid motorcycle licence will affect a plumber on a Splendor very differently than a businessman on an R1. For the millionaire, that amount is not really a major deterrent. But for the plumber, he may actually have to go to jail if he cannot manage to raise the cash.
In this way, you will keep increasing the disparity within society. However, the value of their own time is much more equal for each person and promises to be a more equitable penalty.

... Unless we can implement a fine, whose amount is determined by your income, like how they do in some Scandinavian countries.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 04:55   #42
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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But for the plumber, he may actually have to go to jail if he cannot manage to raise the cash.
Dunno if you or your hypothetical plumber realize that driving is a "Privilege", and not a "Right".

You think the Plumber will be prone to ride recklessly if he knew that he cannot afford any violation? I think not.

Even an average IT joe in the US cannot afford to keep getting speeding tickets.

Unless the deterrent is strong enough, people cannot be forced to be nice.

Cheers
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Old 23rd February 2015, 07:03   #43
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post
Dunno if you or your hypothetical plumber realize that driving is a "Privilege", and not a "Right".

You think the Plumber will be prone to ride recklessly if he knew that he cannot afford any violation? I think not.

Even an average IT joe in the US cannot afford to keep getting speeding tickets.

Unless the deterrent is strong enough, people cannot be forced to be nice.

Cheers
+ Million!!

THAT is the point.

In Australia, jay walking (crossing an intersection when its red light for pedestrians!) attracts $75 fine and a couple of points on your driving license.
Do the same in a car and you get atleast $300 + three points on your license + the whole rule book if you actually endangered lives. (as told by my colleagues here in Brisbane)

No wonder traffic here is so nice and every single person respect traffic lights. Its unaffordable not to, even for millionaires!
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Old 23rd February 2015, 09:25   #44
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

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The fault entirely lies with our law enforcement. Traffic offenders should be taken to task. Slowly but surely things will then change for the better under persistent enforcement.
I cant really agree to that, with all due respect. During the recent times I have seen a lot of people wearing what can be called a sorry excuse for a helmet, not because they had a epiphany on safety but because they get an information from the oncoming biker that there's a police checkup right after the corner waiting to catch people not wearing the helmet. So the person takes off his helmet (which was hanging on his elbow) and wears. The smart Chap "outsmarted" the cops. Soon after he passes by them, the helmet is back on his elbow. These people have this little community kind of a thing that warns and informs people about police in advance. No, can you really blame the police for that. You are mocked for following the rules and get all support and assistance to fool a cop.

A sense of safety should come from the inside. A person who has not been using a helmet for the last 20 years or so of his life will never get why a helmet is important. Noe will he see why his kids should get one and particularly a good one. Its easy to blame the police. But a law abiding, safety conscious life style is a CULTURE that has to be developed. It does not come in a single year or two.

I take all sorts of precautions and follow all possible rules at all possible times and make sure that the person coming opposite or following me are not caused any inconvenience because of my driving. And the reason for that is my own father. My father always insisted that i wear a helmet, not by forcing it on me, but by setting examples. Even for the shortest of ride, he would always wear a helmet because "its the right thing to do". That is something I learned from my father. Jumping a signal is a very wrong thing to do. And the guy who cussed @Braindead will never be explaining why his kid should not do the same. He might as well shout at his kid for not doing like he does.

Like i said, its a culture that has to be developed and passed down from the generations. There's only so much cops can do and yes, the place where I come from, lot of people do follow rules whenever the police are present.

They too are people and they too can't be everywhere at all the time.

Last edited by msrsooraj : 23rd February 2015 at 09:27.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 10:08   #45
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Default Re: Am I the only idiot here to wait at a red light?

The problem clearly is lack of patience and road manners. How often do you see people letting an ambulance pass by or waiting for pedestrians to cross at zebra crossings. Indian roads need patience. If you want an area where we need to emulate the west, its in road manners.
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