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Old 14th July 2005, 23:14   #1
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Default We are all a bunch of idiots!


I write this new topic sitting sad on my desk, as the state of Indian driving habits unfolds around me and gets worse every day. Today, once again, I actually got abused for obeying the traffic rules! What have the sorry people of this country come to?

It’s regular now. As I drive daily from my residence in kandivali to my workplace in bandra, and many other places along my daily 60km routine, I see the degradation of law and order in the traffic situation around me.

No one waits for signals anymore, if 1 stupid jerk cuts a red signal, everyone else will follow. The guy who stays at the red light gets the honks and the stares…

Driving discipline and common sense don’t exist anymore. There is no concept of straight lines and staying in one’s lane – it’s all about getting into the available space ahead – no matter if that is going to make a bad situation worse.

Whenever traffic comes to a halt, including at signals, drivers bunch up, making a 2 laner a 4 laner, and thus complicating the road situation ahead – this gets worse at bottlenecks.

Compound this with morons who drive too fast in the slow lane and bigger ones who drive too slow in the fast lane – everyday – as more and more traffic hits the roads, it just gets worse.

And we know that the horn is free – but does everyone have to blow it – all the time?

What’s wrong with all of us? Why have Indians become this way? – Our culture has become our curse.

I read somewhere, though we have some of the richest people in the world and a huge population of middle class, yet we are the worst donors to charitable organizations in the world. We have the worst civic sense and make a maximum mess of public space and systems – we are the country that spits the most and has the worst discipline for civic causes – whether it’s simply standing in line for a railway ticket or for paying our taxes honestly. Let’s not even get into the corruption of our political system…

Initially, people would make excuses by saying it‘s the auto drivers and the taxi guys who do all this ‘bad stuff’ – then it became the hired driver’s of private vehicles – and really, that educated people don’t do this stuff! Baloney, we are all guilty as hell – I have seen owners of vehicles who are as undisciplined as their drivers are – flouting every traffic rule in the book – spitting on the roads and of course, throwing the ubiquitous plastic bag out of their car windows – after all – who wants to keep that plastic bag within the confines of his well manicured leather seats. And let’s not talk about the memsahebs who get their drivers to park anywhere they please, so that they are chauffer driven all the way to their destination gate – who cares of there’s a load of traffic honking and waiting at the back?

If any of you are thinking – what’s all this got to do with team–bhp – who cares…it doesn’t affect me, does it?

Well of course it does – traffic get’s slower everyday – more and more chaos means that we take longer to reach our destination – did you know that on some stretches in Mumbai – the actual traffic speed is less than 5kmph? Frustration means we are more stressed out – and it’s a constant embarrassment – when colleagues and friends of mine come from other ‘civilized’ countries and see simple problems on the streets degrading into scenes of chaos – all due to the stupidity of the people around us! Of course our cars get damaged more often…

And here’s the final icing on the cake for all team–bhpians. We talk about alloy wheels and bhp, about power to weight ratio and about torque – we polish and port our engines, add free flows and performance filters – all for what? To drive at 5kmph!!! – soon there will be no motor able roads to drive on – nowhere to go to check out all those performance enhancements – soon we’ll all be a bunch of moneys stuck in traffic jams – scratching our heads and eating bananas – victims of our own idiotic culture of indiscipline.

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Old 14th July 2005, 23:27   #2
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You're just one more victim of the current senario.
Relax pal. come to think of it...you're not the only one who feels like this.
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Old 14th July 2005, 23:34   #3
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haha..okhay heres another one..

like any other "indian"..you are going to sit and complain about the current issues ..
its not our style of driving and disobeying traffic rules ...we are all aware of the problems we face everyday man ...
...so do we do anything about it ?
... can we doing anything to solve such a problem ?
instead ...we "Sit sad on our desks " and write another essay on traffic and how pathetic every thing on the road is ...and how *BEEP* other "indians" are ... gawd !save it ...
instead of complaining ...sit down and think of a solution ,post it up ..am sure it'll be very much appreciated ....
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Old 14th July 2005, 23:39   #4
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i remember reading a thread some time on similar grounds.same thing of how the traffic discipline is going from bad to worse.

what you have written is very true !!specially how no one stop at red signals specially in the mornings and nights and if you do you get honked to death from people behind and the abuse flow as they pass by.taxi drivers feel they are the only ones on the road swervving from the leftmost lane to take a right turn without any signal, indication and without even looking if some one is behind.

while approaching a red signal people just switch lanes to go to the lane with the leasent amount of cars.at signals the bike and scooter guys try to fit through the smallest and tiniest gaps possible sometimes hitting your side mirror and even scratching your car so that they are ahead of all the cars when the signal starts and in turn slowing down traffic as they cant accelerate as quickly as most of the cars.

and the idiots who stop in the left lane when they want to go straight.so when the left turn signal turns on they mess up the people who want to take the turn just becasue he wants to go straight he stays put.

its gettin worse day by day something should be done before its too late !!

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Old 15th July 2005, 00:16   #5
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of course you are right turbo...but the first step is to get people to realise the problem and make them aware of the future consequences - that being done - maybe - some people (at least on team-bhp) and anyone else who reads this post - may change for the better.

i was discussing this with a friend - he had a solution too - it's the power of 1. i have always maintained that if i see someone doing something wrong - i tell him off - in whatever car he is driving...he gets embarassed and drives straight for some time at least - maybe he changes too - for the better - so that's a start. if everyone has the guts to do this simple thing - we could get sweeping changes just pointing out other driver's bad habits to them on the road...u'll be surprised how powerful this is - no one really argues with a guy who is maintaining discipline on the road - so as the saying goes - do something - anything...

but most importantly - and here's where team-bhp comes into the picture - we need a forum representation - of people from team bhp and other auto forums - maybe the magazine guys who can brainstorm, come up with ideas, and represent these to the authorities - so that work begins in getting a cultural turnaround.

there is not one topic on this forum that talks about driving habits - nor any page in any auto magazine dedicated to good driving habits and culture...nobody teaches culture in schools -...

i have always believed that complaining is the first and most important step to getting change - all important revolutions around the world and in history were first started by someone who complained...

yeah sure it's difficult - but are we going to start somewhere - or let ourselves deteriorate into stupidity?

i am looking for ideas - and maybe we can start a small representation to the power's that be - so anyone interested, do keep in touch...

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Old 15th July 2005, 01:22   #6
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Cream, I greatly appreciate your concern for the Indian traffic situation. I am also like you and other good drivers is very much bothered about this.

Last week, when I was driving home, a fellow on a two wheeler is trying to overtake me from left. That was a 2 lane road, one for each direction. To give way to a vehicle in the opposite direction, I moved to left. This guy on the left started yelling at me. When I told him overtaking from left is against rules, his answer was "Rules are not for city. Only for suburbs and highways".

I was shocked and replied to him, "You Insane****, go home safe. Somebody is waiting for you".
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Old 15th July 2005, 01:32   #7
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Originally Posted by cream
and maybe we can start a small representation to the power's that be
I'd hate to throw a wet blanket on your enthu, but remember that it is the 'Powers that be' that are responsible for the wholesale lack of order and discipline, because of their blatent disregard for rules, regulations and the law.

The sad part is that it seems ingrained in the system - we are rotting away from within and this cancer will one day kill this society. Either that, or we have to cut off the cancerous parts - obviously this cannot be done without pain and sacrifice that no one seems to want at the moment...

However, everything has a time and place - what has to happen will ultimately happen. Plus, change is inevitable. That is our only hope.
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Old 15th July 2005, 08:40   #8
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Originally Posted by turbo_lover
instead of complaining ...sit down and think of a solution ,post it up ..am sure it'll be very much appreciated ....
I've thought about this a lot, and yet there is only one solution that comes to my mind - EMIGRATE... I guess that's the cynic in me speaking.

[No offense intended to anybody or any country]

Last edited by johnjacob : 15th July 2005 at 08:46.
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Old 15th July 2005, 09:51   #9
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Cream, first of all welcome back, I hardly see any posts from you these days.

Regarding the traffic problem, it is fixable by proper enforcement. We need a Kiran Bedi kind of crusader as traffic DCP in every city who can bulldoze through the ranks and set all the traffic cops right. In addition we need a state/city administration that is interested in pushing massive changes in RTO rules and fully support the crusader traffic top cop.

Right now all the traffic cops in Bangalore are interested only in fund raising. Everyday they open shop near some traffic junction and catch one out of every five two-wheeler or truck and fine them for missing documents. How is that supposed to improve traffic manners? Instead setup traffic watching videos cameras all over cities and feed that into massive databases and outsource the audit work to private BPOs. The audit agents will go through the videos and mark every offence and send fine notices to each offender by postal mail. If the offender doesn't pay within 1 month, cancel registration of the vehicle or send court notice. I bet the fines collected via this route will exceed the current fines collection by 100 times!!! If the offender wants dispute the notice, he should be able to see the watch the video on web by entering his notice number and reg. no.

If the address on the registration number turn out to be false or changed (due to change of ownership), cancel the registration and put the vehicle on watch list. Watch out for such vehicle coming on the same route next day and alert the cops to stop them and take necessary action.

The crusader top cop should make sure all the traffic cops fall in line and execute jobs well.

Currently traffic in Bangalore follows rules only when they see a cop around. Once the cameras are installed, they will have to assume they are watched all the time even if the camera is out of order or switched off. Besides, you don't have to operate all cameras all the time. Keep only 1 in 10 camera turned on in a given hour on a random basis and keep rotating it. That way the work load will also decrease. Since no one (including cops) will know which camera is on, everybody will have to assume the worst case...
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Old 15th July 2005, 10:36   #10
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We don't have hold in others behavior. Whatever solutions we discuss, it is not going to get implemented. Patience is the best way to handle this and don't allow your negative energy to flow into your system, when you come across those situations. Just convert into positive energy.

I used to argue with guys, who take their vehicles to the petrol filling units in bunks ignoring the queue. The filling guy will not heed to any of those arguments & just keep filling, whoever takes their bikes to him.

Because of this, in long term, filling the fuel itself has become a biggest frustration. Later, whenever I got into the filling station, I switched over my attention by looking into the various models of bikes, reading the urgency in people's face, how the filling guys act/react to the crowd situation.

If this is the case, you do not know when you entered the bunk, when your bike got filled, when you made the payment etc. There may be a delay of 5 -10 mins, but Iam happy that my mind is free from what's happening around.

Don't try to change the world better change yourself
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Old 15th July 2005, 10:39   #11
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Let me start off with a small incident that I observed a couple of years ago that made me smile and has always stuck in my head since then..

Was travelling in a bus and happnd to be stuck up in a long signal. As I was gazing around, I saw this man with his two kids aged <10... they were walking on the footpath, the man holding his kids hands. As usual there also was continuous chain of people passing by them.. some running some walking and mostly spilling on the road... jay walking... frankly nothing unusual.. just another normal sight.. rite?..

well.... here come's the peice that i am referring to.... as they reach the signal... the man, with his kids.. cross the road... at the zebra crossin... observing traffic signals.. with the man showing the kids the Stop sign and the walk sign.... Okay so now this was just a man teaching his kids to cross.. BIG DEAL... ??

Once on the other side, the team repeats the same routine to cross the road perpendicular to the road they came from ... YEA.. SO what .. Big Deal?

If you havent yet got the drift. then here goes:
The signal referred to is a classic N-S-E-W type of 4 road juntion.. with zebra crossing neatly painted at the point were each road meets the juction...
This father-kids team had to go from the Left of the road coming from the west to the right of the road coming from the south... simply imaging a right angle wherein you have to go from the far end of the perpendicular arm to the far end of the linear arm....

There were 2 choices... go along the hypotenuse.. i.e. cross the road diagonally through junction or Go along the arms of the right angle. i.e. traverse the length of the zebra crossing.... just a question of choice...

The man chose the latter and decided to teach his kids the same... All of this applies to us on the road too doesnt it....


Cheers (pardon the length of the post.. got a little carried away)
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Old 15th July 2005, 10:50   #12
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I am adding my two cents here.

Firstly this talk of culture is nothing but crap....
You put people of any other race/nationality in the this situation, the result will be same.
Essentially we all humans are the same, even our genes are exactly the same.

Now looking at the problem scientifically instead of emotion outbursts.
The causes for this situation.

1. Population.
2. Less traffic cops.
3. Not so strict rules
4. Lousy license issuing process.
5. Uneducated drivers.
6. Pathetic Infrastructure.

Point #1 and point #6 are inversely proportional.
By increasing one the other can be decreased.
Solution: Population control is already in place and it will take a hell
lot of time to improve. So only obvious solution is increase the
infrastructure. Move it a faster pace.

Point #2:
Solution : Well increase the cops.

Point #3
Solution : Put better and stringent rules in place.

Point #4:
Solution : Man what can I say. Corruption is one tough nut to crack.
But it can be done.

Point #5:
Solution : Well forget about our generation. The next gen will have at least 70% literacy.
We Indians make good copycats, more become literate, the more will follow.
A kind of chain reaction.

The very root of all the problems faced by this country is Population.
And the big catalyst to this is Illiteracy.

Originally Posted by johnjacob
I've thought about this a lot, and yet there is only one solution that comes to my mind - EMIGRATE...
And john u r welcome to emigrate, I think there are enough people to manage anyway.
Meanwhile keep the green moola coming to this country.
That's the least u can do!!...
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Old 15th July 2005, 10:59   #13
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That is a really good practice buddy Surprise. I can not agree more.

On another note, traffic on the road could be decreased by changing the timings of offices in a particular area.


Last edited by Vivekag : 15th July 2005 at 11:02.
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Old 15th July 2005, 11:08   #14
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Originally Posted by johnjacob
I've thought about this a lot, and yet there is only one solution that comes to my mind - EMIGRATE... I guess that's the cynic in me speaking.
Feel free. You can run away from this problem, but will you do the same with all the other problems you face?

Cynics will never stop running. Like someone said, the country has a few hundred million more so you wont be missed. Question is, do you have a few hundred countries to not miss yours?
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Old 15th July 2005, 11:19   #15
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You want the traffic condition in the city to improve? We have over twice the required number of taxis and rickshaws in Mumbai. Make each half ply on alternate days, and it will automatically bring down traffic and pollution, while reducing competition between them.

Of course, no one ever listens to good sense...
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