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Old 13th February 2007, 10:22   #16
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I totally agree ... But why single out the noida expressway ... The same can be said about most good highways in the country and the attitude of the drivers in our country doesn't help to improve the situation at all. For example, the Pune, kolhapur GQ road is also miles and miles of straight (read boring) road. I was once driving and for a fraction of a second, almost felt like I was going to fall asleep. I immediately pulled over and asked my brother to drive. I can't even think what would have happened if I had continued to drive that day.
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Old 13th February 2007, 11:43   #17
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Originally Posted by tifosikrishna View Post
On one side, we need to have speed guns at irregular intervals (with some dummy ones too) coupled with other law enforcement measures to curb speeding.

Ahhh Tifosi you're making the classic mistakes that people always make. Speeding does not constitute as the prime reason for accidents anywhere in the world. Infact it is an acknowledged fact that in the UK only about 5% of the total accidents are due to speeding and a majority of them are due to driver error.

What we need here is not more speed guns but better driver training. If you posted more speed guns/cameras at the Exxpressway & let's say an advance driver with good knowledge about his car & driving skills is travelling at high-speeds at 3'o clock in the morning when there is nobody around then how is speeding harmful? And infact if you place SPeed Guns will it deter people from speeding? No they'll look out & be careful about the cameras but still maintain their pace as usual.

What people here need to be taught are to vary their speed according to prevailing conditions. If they're speeding in peak traffic at 9am in the morning or evening rush-hour then prosecute them yes since at that time they are posing a risk to themselves & others on the road. But if they do it in clear weather, late at night when there is hardly any traffic then why should be they punished. Also they should know how to adapt to changing conditions like rain, fog etc. but unfortunately apart from some education from forums like ours there is no other front for this knowledge in our country. Also another aspect to be taught is to adapt to Indian conditions of unpredicatability with regards to people, cyclists, two-wheeler riders, animals etc. on our roads but this comes more from experience than anything else. Driver Training is the answer to this problem in my opinion, not more speed guns.

From what I've seen accidents on the expressway are caused due to the fact that people find a wide, well-paved stretch of road with sparse traffic & suddenly have no clue what to do there! They go bonkers with their speed & discipline & ultimately their luck runs out. Expressways are meant to be for QUICK travel but that doesn't mean we try & max our cars everytime we are on it.

IMHO there should be some emphasis on driver training which is non-existent in India rather than a knee-jerk reaction of placing more speed guns/cameras.

Last edited by iraghava : 13th February 2007 at 11:50.
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Old 13th February 2007, 12:05   #18
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Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Ahhh Tifosi you're making the classic mistakes that people always make. Speeding does not constitute as the prime reason for accidents anywhere in the world. Infact it is an acknowledged fact that in the UK only about 5% of the total accidents are due to speeding and a majority of them are due to driver error.
Your approach i feel is idealistic. Bringing about a qualitative change in individuals is a herculean task, that too given kind of diverse target group we are looking at, it is next to impossible.

Speeding may not be the obvious reason reason for accidents, but dont you agree that on a general basis, speeding and driver error are directly proportional to each other.

Assuming that the driver makes the same error at say 80kmph and 120 kmph, is it not obvious that at lower speeds he/she has got more time to react and correct himself that at 120kmph.

there could be few smart drivers who could out smart the speedguns, but there are always exceptions.

As i mentioned in my earlier post, emphasis should be on punishing over speeding supplemented by efforts on bringing about a change in attitude.

Regards
Tifosi.

Last edited by tifosikrishna : 13th February 2007 at 12:07.
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Old 13th February 2007, 12:26   #19
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I remember one drive where I drove 1500 miles (not KMs)in 3 days. Anahiem (CA)-Grand Canyon-Sedona-Phoenix-Anahiem. I particularly remember the stretch between Sedona to Phoenix, the speed limit was something like 75mph or 80mph. The road was quite narrow by American standards, it was winding like a serpent all along the bushy/rocky desert. There was heavy traffic, almost bumper to bumper, the average speed was...you won't believe it... 80-85mph. One of the most memorable drives I have ever done.

The point I am trying to make here is this. In a well built road (with proper banking), with powerful vehicles and disciplined drivers, it is quite safe to drive fast.

In India now we are slowly getting some good roads, and some powerful cars. But we also have bullock carts, slow-moving trucks, 2-wheelers, cycles, jay walkers sharing the same roads. And we don't have disciplined drivers, we have people driving in the wrong directions in fast lane, we have drivers who don't understand lane discipline, and we have drivers who are unwilling to learn.

Unless we can ensure these new age roads are used only by equally capable vehicles, and only by disciplined drivers, these roads will remain very unsafe for speeding.
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Old 13th February 2007, 12:35   #20
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Where more than one lane exists or if the road is wide, I prefer to stay to the right side, but inside the road's middle marker. This helps avoid slower & parked vehicles and in most cases, the road surface is smoother as well.

On narrow, two lane highways, there are a few folks who prefer driving in the center of the road, with the road's center line dissecting the car in half.

While I don't subscribe to this approach, there was this time when a friend in the car was getting all jittery & paranoid because I was driving along on this narrow state highway at ~100kmph in the daytime, and keeping the center line on my right. His theory was, as long as there's no traffic, it is better to stay in the center of the road.

I tried this for a while but found I would subconsciously drift back to my (left) half of the road before too long.

Thoughts?
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Old 13th February 2007, 12:53   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
On narrow, two lane highways, there are a few folks who prefer driving in the center of the road, with the road's center line dissecting the car in half.

While I don't subscribe to this approach, there was this time when a friend in the car was getting all jittery & paranoid because I was driving along on this narrow state highway at ~100kmph in the daytime, and keeping the center line on my right. His theory was, as long as there's no traffic, it is better to stay in the center of the road.
I think your friend is right. If you are going to speed on a relatively narrow road, you need margins on both sides of the car and the best strategy is to stick to the road centre. That way you will have time to react if somebody crosses the road unexpectedly or if some parked vehicle pulls out suddently, or if you run into a cross road, etc. Driving too close to either the footpath or divider means you have less time to react and less maneuvering space. Plus I find that it is qute helpful to straddle the centre line at night, especially when the road is not lit. The centre line gives you a good advance warning when the road curves suddenly.
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Old 13th February 2007, 13:45   #22
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Why cant there be "lane checking/cutting cameras" which will record buses/trucks travelling on the right most lanes of the expressways, and these drivers can be stopped at the toll gates and fined, on the basis of the snaps. this will reduce accident risks.
also a small do's and dont's sheet with sketches, given with the toll reciept, to every user of expressway, will remind them of basic discipline on these roads, and the penalties
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Old 13th February 2007, 13:56   #23
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I agree with sticking to the centre of the road principle. First and foremost, this gives me space on both sides wherein i can move into depending upon any obstacles in my way. Also, during night driving, it helps to knw when the road goes on a sudden curve, as these centre line markers usually show up well under the car's lights. I usually maintain speeds of about 100 kmph max even on really good roads. As mentioned on other threads on our forum and as i have personally experienced too... with the unpredictable nature of traffic we have on our roads, its better safe than sorry.
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Old 14th February 2007, 21:18   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
What we need here is not more speed guns but better driver training. [...] Driver Training is the answer to this problem in my opinion, not more speed guns.

From what I've seen accidents on the expressway are caused due to the fact that people find a wide, well-paved stretch of road with sparse traffic & suddenly have no clue what to do there! They go bonkers with their speed & discipline & ultimately their luck runs out. Expressways are meant to be for QUICK travel but that doesn't mean we try & max our cars everytime we are on it.

IMHO there should be some emphasis on driver training which is non-existent in India rather than a knee-jerk reaction of placing more speed guns/cameras.
I agree. Driver training should not only cover all aspects of driving, but also some essential knowledge about how a car should be maintained so that it can be driven safely at high speeds. E.g. if tyres are worn out or not at the correct pressures, overspeeding can be dangerous, especially in rainy weather.

Today I went for permanent driver's license test in Pune. I had applied through a driving school because my previous Karnataka license expired this January. The test was a complete farce. Apparently the driving school dishes out money to the various inspectors at the RTO in order to ensure that its candidates have an easy time. So no wonder I had to shell out Rs. 1000 to the driving school. I had to shell out Rs. 65 for four poor-quality polaroid photos taken at the test site because the driving school did not inform me in advance to get a photograph (I had submitted two photos while getting the temporary license and thought that was enough). A few others were also duped this way. No doubt the driving schools are helping out the "photographer".

Just prior to the test, the driving school instructor holds a briefing to the candidates on what is to be done and the guy says "Do not drive in half-clutch; if you release clutch suddenly the car will jump and stop and you will fail; shift gears at the right speeds and get into fourth gear; if you drive only in second, the inspector will take you for a very long test which will only end when you shift to fourth .....". It struck me that these are hardly the instructions that a trained bunch of candidates should be receiving.

I was following the driving school vehicle (filled with candidates and the inspector) in my Santro and saw some very slow, hesitant and awkward driving by the candidates Yet the inspector passed them all. The inspector did not even bother to get into my car in order to conduct a test -- he passed me just by seeing me follow him (it was getting late for lunch, I suppose). Of course I was relieved, but nevertheless, it is easy to see why the standard of driving exhibited on our roads is so abysmal. So these are our future drivers on Expressways. Not a very happy thought.

I am told that those who do not go through driving school will be given a very hard time and will be failed for the slightest and most trivial of errors. Unless we root out this kind of corruption, it is futile to expect our roads to be safe.
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Old 14th February 2007, 21:45   #25
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The inspector did not even bother to get into my car in order to conduct a test -- he passed me just by seeing me follow him (it was getting late for lunch, I suppose).
Would you believe it if I told you that I went to get my license converted to a permanent one through a contact of mine in the RTO & all the Inspector asked me (It was January so he sitting outside and soaking in the sun!!) was what college I was in. No test, no questions nothing at all!!
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Old 14th February 2007, 21:49   #26
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The inspector did not even bother to get into my car in order to conduct a test -- he passed me just by seeing me follow him (it was getting late for lunch, I suppose).
I guess it helped that for a change you weren't doing your usual speed, the 140...


Quote:
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I am told that those who do not go through driving school will be given a very hard time and will be failed for the slightest and most trivial of errors. Unless we root out this kind of corruption, it is futile to expect our roads to be safe.
That's true, in fact it goes beyond that. I did my first driving training in 1992 using a driving school that was owned by a relative. But I didn't tell him since I didn't want to get a big discount and fall under his obligation. When I went to the test through the driving school, the inspector asked me to park between two cars. Then I didn't know it was called parallel park, nor did the instructor had taught me that. So I failed. Later I went to the driving school and met my relative. When I told him that I attended his school and then failed the test, he got quite upset. He told me that I should have talked to him before appearing for the test. I asked why should that matter. Then he tells me "The Inspectors can't pass every driving school student that appear for the first time, it won't look natural, so they fail some and pass some, it has nothing to do with your driving skill. Because of the rapport we have with them, we can tell them whom to pass and whom to fail. Had you approach me first, I would have told them to pass you at first attempt. So, next time you appear, don't forget to tell me."

So, the next time I appeared for the test, I told him in advance. This time my driving test consisted of driving in a straight line and come to a stop in the center of the road. And I passed.

If you are wondering, I really learnt car driving in USA a year later under a proper tutor in a Chevy Beretta.
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Old 14th February 2007, 22:55   #27
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Quote:
I was following the driving school vehicle (filled with candidates and the inspector) in my Santro and saw some very slow, hesitant and awkward driving by the candidates Yet the inspector passed them all. The inspector did not even bother to get into my car in order to conduct a test -- he passed me just by seeing me follow him (it was getting late for lunch, I suppose).
This was exactly the way my test was conducted too.Yes it was the same RTO in pune and I too went through an agent.No questions asked nothing.Infact My driver too was in the car on the passenger side and I doubt the Inspector would have noticed even if both of us switched places and my driver was driving the car.He just did not look at me or come near my car, before/after the test .

I thought the inspector forgot the fact that I was also giving the test,so I felt I flunked the test and I actually enquired with the instructor/agent if I had passed/flunked.To which the instructor/agent got an uncontrollable fit of laughter.

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Old 14th February 2007, 23:26   #28
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So others too have experienced the same low standards for driving tests. Actually the first time I took a driving test in 1975 at age 18 was in Ernakulam, Kerala (my father was stationed there at that time). The driving test was very rigorous by today's standards. I had to make a hill-start, turn back by reversing the car into a side lane, make a U-turn and then park close to the footpath on a narrow road. Further, I had to drive (forward and reverse) through a H-shaped path marked out by iron rods as fencing. If you don't get the tight turns right the first time or if you hit one of the rods, you fail. It was quite tough in an Ambassador.

I passed because the driving school instructor did an excellent job of making me practise before the test. I guess those days very few people owned or drove cars, so the driving schools and RTO inspectors had more time to train/test candidates.
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Old 15th February 2007, 11:00   #29
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Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Would you believe it if I told you that I went to get my license converted to a permanent one through a contact of mine in the RTO & all the Inspector asked me (It was January so he sitting outside and soaking in the sun!!) was what college I was in. No test, no questions nothing at all!!
That's because you are considered the "don" of Moradabad & he didn't want to risk being given the godfather treatment ....heh-heh
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Old 15th February 2007, 11:04   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Would you believe it if I told you that I went to get my license converted to a permanent one through a contact of mine in the RTO & all the Inspector asked me (It was January so he sitting outside and soaking in the sun!!) was what college I was in. No test, no questions nothing at all!!
I guess he wanted free tires from the "tire dealer"
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