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Old 3rd July 2007, 11:26   #1
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Default Rash Taxi driver in Chennai...Callous attitude of cops

We were on our way to the movies on sunday night. As we approached the Gemini Flyover, a 'travels' taxi took a u-turn at the signal before the Park Hotel (for the uninitiated, its a no-u-turn zone).

My friend flashed his lights, as we had right of way at the signal, but the taxi took the U-turn without waiting for us. My friend flipped his lid and wanted to stop the taxi (an Ambassador) and give the driver a piece of his mind.

We pulled up parralel to the taxi (which had tinted glasses) and demanded he stop, but he kept pulling away through traffic. This resulted in a chase through traffic, for more than three-quarters of a kilometer. And we finally managed to block him off on mount-road (one of Chennai's busiest thoroughfare). I got out, went to the driver's side, banged on the window till he unlocked the door. I grabbed his car keys, and got back into the Innova. We slowly pulled into one by-lane as the taxi fellow walked behind begging us for the keys.

We threatened him, he kept saying sorry (was genuinely scared for a while), we asked him to pull out his liscence and the general jazz that would happen.

In the midst of all of this, while my friend handled the driver, I walked upto a cop and told him what happened. His reply was, "this happened near the Park, I can't do anything about it. this is Mount Road. call 103 and put a complaint." this attitude prevailed inspite of showing him where the taxi was standing (we let the driver move it into the by-lane after 5 mins coz the car was blocking traffic and casuing too much inconvinience to other road users).

I dont really want to bore anyone with a long story, but a few facts I wanted to state:

1) two cars, large cars, can drive through a busy road in the heart of the city, in an extremely dangerous fashion, and not a single soul bothered to call the cops and report the incident.

2) the taxi almost knocked off a cyclist, and almost hit a few cars while trying to escape from us. So I guess, unless he actually 'knocked' off the cyclist and caused some damage to the cars, no serious action is going to be taken. Goes to show we are no better than a 3rd world country.

3) before I spoke to the constable at the junction (there were 3 of them, two of them on bikes), my friend called the traffic police number and reported the taxi (this was after we managed to grab his keys). but did they take any action regarding this, didnt look like it to me. we waited at that place for more almost half-an hour.

4) next time a traffic constable is getting beaten up by a crowd/public, i know what I am going to do.

But one thing is for sure, the 20 minutes that we harrased the taxi driver, we put the fear of god into him. He would have done anything to get out of that situation. And will think twice before cutting off a car next time.

I didnt put this here to brag about how I triumphed over the taxi driver, but to tell you guys the callous attitude of and disregard for the law the prevails here.
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Old 3rd July 2007, 15:48   #2
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I'm not being judgemental here, but this looks like a failed mission from all directions:
1) I don't think the taxi driver is going to change his driving style, because he has not been penalized.
2) When your friend "flipped" and chased the taxi, this indirectly ended up endangering others.
3) Neither your friend nor you got the satisfaction of giving "the driver a piece of his mind" because of the callous attitude of the cops.

Quote:
1) two cars, large cars, can drive through a busy road in the heart of the city, in an extremely dangerous fashion, and not a single soul bothered to call the cops and report the incident.
On this, I strongly agree with you. Apathy among citizenry (including myself) is one of the (many) reasons for our pathetic traffic situation. There are shining examples to the contrary, however, that I have observed.
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Old 3rd July 2007, 18:23   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
I'm not being judgemental here, but this looks like a failed mission from all directions:
1) I don't think the taxi driver is going to change his driving style, because he has not been penalized.
2) When your friend "flipped" and chased the taxi, this indirectly ended up endangering others.
3) Neither your friend nor you got the satisfaction of giving "the driver a piece of his mind" because of the callous attitude of the cops.
didnt i convey the same in the original post? anyway, agreed.

so u've managed to list out the problems. whats the solution?
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Old 3rd July 2007, 21:47   #4
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There is no solution to the Chennai road problems until every driver, whatever the vehicle and however many wheels, gets a real education in driving, and has to pass a real, and difficult driving test, and stands some chance of prosecution. Real prosecution, that is, not just policeman's pocket money.

How does Hyderabad compare?
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Old 3rd July 2007, 21:56   #5
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One thing for sure, that Taxi driver would now think thrice before doing that U-turn stunt again!
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Old 3rd July 2007, 22:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
There is no solution to the Chennai road problems until every driver, whatever the vehicle and however many wheels, gets a real education in driving, and has to pass a real, and difficult driving test, and stands some chance of prosecution. Real prosecution, that is, not just policeman's pocket money.

How does Hyderabad compare?
Its worse.
there is absolutely no lane discipline and people ride/drive as if they've just graduated from riding a cycle (that expression comes from the fact the none of the traffic rules apply to the cycling crowd in India).

Chennai by far is one of the better places in terms of traffic while compared the most other 'cities'. Not for long though, I guess.
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Old 3rd July 2007, 22:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
One thing for sure, that Taxi driver would now think thrice before doing that U-turn stunt again!

Absolutely right, a job well done, at least one in a million is educated. Please do the others as well!
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Old 3rd July 2007, 22:22   #8
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Good that you are not in Pune! You are talking about a person taking a U-turn at a signal - at least that is at a signal. In Pune, on many roads, people simply remove part of the road divider to create a temporary gap to take U-turns, right-turns or to turn right and then left and travel in the opposite direction. The traffic police in Pune are mute spectators at best!
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Old 3rd July 2007, 22:33   #9
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Not good to Endager the safety of Others,Amusing to have the Taxi Driver beg for keys- Back here in Delhi, Either you will be swarmed with Gujjar goons or the Taxi driver Himself will get into Brawl with you.

Your Friend's decision to lose his cool was immature, Not only he endangered others on road, He endangered his own car-His own self and You- What if in the moment of rage-something untoward would have happened.

And as said above-I'm sure the Taxi Driver won't change his ways. These guys run on deadlines-Bothways..!
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Old 3rd July 2007, 22:53   #10
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I agree with wolfinstein. Plus the job of the police should be left to the police. Vigilante action by civilians is illegal and will lead to anarchy in the long run. In this case the law will only accept a policeman's word that the taxi driver committed a traffic offence. In the absence of that nothing can be proved.
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Old 4th July 2007, 11:58   #11
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well, atleast one thing, that you went after him. a lot of people would have just lost their cool and continued. So many times people break rules, but no one does anything about it. Cops to an extent have given up. They are grossly understaffed. ( I heard from sources that there is a current shortfall of about 1500 constables for the traffic police itself), so asking them to take a case on something that did not happen in front of thm, si like asking them to join the circus.

Sometimes the traffic really gets to me as well, and the only thing i can do is count to ten and let go. :( its not worth getting one's BP up, due to some incompetent moron who got his license by paying money.
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:21   #12
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Although your intent was good & well appreciated, there is too much of a risk involved in chasing down a car. Try to avoid that, instead note down his number & pass it on to the nearest cop, something could happen that way.
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:55   #13
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Hyderabad is equally bad, if not worse. But it is the auto-wallahs and mobike riders who are the villains here. Cabs are once-in-a-while offenders, but most call-center cabs are habitual offenders.
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
instead note down his number & pass it on to the nearest cop, something could happen that way.
EL, If u give the no to Cops, nothing will happen, and the Taxi guy will repeat the same thing again till a mishap happens.
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