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Old 21st March 2013, 22:15   #136
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

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Originally Posted by norhog View Post
Hello everyone
Would like to discuss about this unwritten code of Indian highways that if a vehicle wants to give way for others to overtake, the right side indicator is switched “ON”.
This practice is confusing at times and I personally had one near miss.
How did this code start???
Can we do something, like e.g fit another light say green in colour on ..... hey I am not going to come in this lane so go ahead and overtake…
This signalling is not as per any code or regulations. Some stupid bloke started it and the practice has caught on as a madhouse afire.
Why a signal to indicate that would not change lane? use the signal to indicate lane changes. Speaks sense is it not?

Remember the diamond shaped light on trucks with OK written below it made famous by the Horn OK Please idiom of yore. This light was used as a signal to the trailing vehicle to overtake.

Last edited by rajeev k : 21st March 2013 at 22:35.
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Old 21st March 2013, 22:33   #137
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
This signalling is not as per any code or regulations. Some stupid bloke started it and the practice has caught on as a madhouse afire.
Why a signal to indicate that would not change lane? use the signal to indicate lane changes. Speaks sense is it not?

Remember the diamond shaped light with OK written below it made famous by the Horn OK Please idiom of yore. This light was used as a signal to the trailing vehicle to overtake.
Thanks Mr rajeev. I didnt know those conical green lights were ment to be "OK" to overtake. Just goes to show without proper regulations good practices goes awry.
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Old 21st March 2013, 22:40   #139
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

Quite funny and I first saw this phenomenon nowhere else but on TV !!
In the Bollywood movie "Tarzan-The Wonder Car", there is a scene involving an overtaking maneuver and in that the car ahead shows the right signal indicating the car behind to overtake. (It is done 2-3 times repeatedly)
I mean, they show such practices on TV, so there are many people ought to ape them (thinking "If its shown in a movie then YES! it is a correct practice.")

When I drive on the highway and if someone wants to pass me, I don't blink any indicators. It is not such an essential or a cardinal rule for letting people pass; just stick to your lane & let him pass and don't make any sudden movements which would spoil the judgement of the car trying to overtake.

Even if you need to move to the left lane to allow him to pass, just do it swiftly in a smooth motion and not making a fuss of it

-Bhargav
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Old 22nd March 2013, 08:30   #140
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
This signalling is not as per any code or regulations. Some stupid bloke started it and the practice has caught on as a madhouse afire.
I'm quite sure that this was started and spread by truckwalas. I've seen this many a times but only the truckwalas doing it ! As someone said it's really confusing. What can be done - NO IDEA !!
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Old 22nd March 2013, 10:38   #141
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

Yes there are many threads with this rant on TBHP but no solution.

My pet theory:
Quote:
In all probability the practice would have been introduced by drivers returning from UAE. In driving test there right indicator would mean overtake and these blokes would have got their license only after learning that by rote. Not applying their minds they started using this in India also.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 11:45   #142
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

One of the dangers in this type of indication, as I see:
Lets say Vehicle A is on the left lane and Vehicle B is on the right and is planning to overtake A. Now lets say A notices a cyclist / pedestrian / another really slow vehicle on half / full of his lane and wants to move to the right lane to pass it. Vehicle A would naturally turn on the right indicator - this may be interpreted by Vehicle B as permission to overtake.

My brother is going to a "Maruti Driving School" here in Coimbatore. He was saying that the instructor keeps telling him that "although as per rule you must do this, in Coimbatore you have do the other way"!!!

Don't know if this would be OT, but: As far as I have seen, Mumbai is one of the best cities to drive in, as far as traffic sense is concerned. Bangalore is really bad, but the difference I see between Bangalore and Coimbatore is that the people in Bangalore seem to know that they are breaking rules, but the Coimbatore people doesn't seem to be aware of what is right and what is wrong!
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Old 22nd March 2013, 13:15   #143
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

Well I drive extensively on highways. In fact 90% of my driving is on the highways. Truck drivers have never been a cause of trouble for me. Remember that multi-lane highways are a recent phenomenon in India. Earlier it was only one lane and the opposite lane for oncoming traffic. Truck drivers are following a practice they have been following for decades, they won't change overnight. One needs to use their common sense to adapt themselves to the highway.

Trucks do not change lanes suddenly. The only occasions when I have seen truck drivers do sudden lane changes is when they are trying to save some animal or some animal driving a vehicle; or when they are not carrying any load. On the latter let's just say they feel the need, the need for speed too you know.

You are expected to honk (or flash your lights at night) to make the truck driver aware that you intend to overtake (from the right, as is the law). If the driver turns his right indicators on in response to your request, he is telling you that the road ahead is clear for overtaking (just imagine how intelligent this is on conventional highways with one lane for you and one for oncoming traffic). But it still is up to you to take a look at the road ahead and decide if it is safe enough to overtake. If one starts overtaking blindly and without judgment, there's no one but oneself to blame. Truck drivers are experienced enough to judge whether it's safe for overtaking, otherwise they stick their right hand out the driver's window to signal you to wait. Truck drivers are really mindful of smaller passenger vehicles, in my experience. On old fashioned highways, there is no point in anyone moving to the oncoming lane. That's how this practice started, because on the highways of old, one just didn't venture out on the oncoming lane just for the heck of it, fools are excepted.

None of the above applies to bus drivers - they are a dangerous breed. And of course, those who overtake from the left in their (dad's) cars and motorcycles are the real pain in the you-know-what.

I bemoan the day the movie "Dhoom" was released, youngsters now can only drive/ride at high speeds and can only follow a zig-zag pattern.

I only make sure that I drive safe, and use common sense. I leave other people's driving sensibilities to themselves, and try not to get distracted by what they do.

So anyway, two points regarding the original poster's curiosity: -

1. Old fashioned highways had only one lane for you and one lane for oncoming traffic.
2. There is no point is using indicators on old fashioned highways in the way they are conventionally used in the city, that's how this practice originated. They have a common code among themselves, and they won't change it for us.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 13:32   #144
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Default Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

Totally agree with snjk with what he has to say about the trucks. They are among the most disciplined I feel. They are rarely rashly driven. The real dangers & menace are bus drivers and the small pickup trucks & 407s. These guys drive fast, change sudden lanes and would do what you can never expect them.

Coming back to signalling evolution, I will like to share a small story...

When I was young (read: did not know much driving), we were travelling by our FIAT 1100D to Patna from Ranchi. Since it was dark, I noticed our driver who was blinking the indicators right & left.

I asked out of curiosity that what he is actually doing...his theory went like this...at night, we cannot signal to the cars following us to overtake us by the typical hand gesture. So, we use RHS indicator...and he actually showed me that how the trucks that we are overtaking are giving us a 'permission' to overtake them by blinking their RHS indicator.
What followed was totally weird...fasten your seat belts ladies & gentlemen...after overtaking the trucks he used to blink his left side indicators. Normal people like us would assume that an LHS indicator after overtaking signifies that we are moving in their lane...but his reason was completely 'benevolent'!

He told me that this LHS indicator after overtaking is for 'thanking' the trucks that he let us overtake. Poor guy me who believed him for quite a few years.

But on a serious note, at times with too many misinformed people around, we are forced to use signals like these and the most (mis) used hazard signal for going straight at crosses. I regret totally using these but at times to stay safe or to convey that I need to go straight to the traffic police or the honking guys at behind, we are at times literally forced to use these signals...happens with me..how about you guys?

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd March 2013 at 13:37.
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Old 15th May 2013, 13:51   #145
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Default Re: A strange local traffic signal...(indicator for overtaking)

I saw this practice used extensively in Shillong during my first visit to my then-gf , now wife's place. It was a bit confusing initially . An actual turn is indicated by indicator signal+ hand signal combo. I wonder how they would signal in heavy rain
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Old 16th May 2013, 18:41   #146
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Exclamation Re: Overtaking Code On Indian Highways

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Originally Posted by snkjr View Post
Well I drive extensively on highways. In fact 90% of my driving is on the highways. Truck drivers have never been a cause of trouble for me. Remember that multi-lane highways are a recent phenomenon in India. Earlier it was only one lane and the opposite lane for oncoming traffic. Truck drivers are following a practice they have been following for decades, they won't change overnight. One needs to use their common sense to adapt themselves to the highway.

Trucks do not change lanes suddenly. The only occasions when I have seen truck drivers do sudden lane changes is when they are trying to save some animal or some animal driving a vehicle; or when they are not carrying any load. On the latter let's just say they feel the need, the need for speed too you know.

You are expected to honk (or flash your lights at night) to make the truck driver aware that you intend to overtake (from the right, as is the law). If the driver turns his right indicators on in response to your request, he is telling you that the road ahead is clear for overtaking (just imagine how intelligent this is on conventional highways with one lane for you and one for oncoming traffic). But it still is up to you to take a look at the road ahead and decide if it is safe enough to overtake. If one starts overtaking blindly and without judgment, there's no one but oneself to blame. Truck drivers are experienced enough to judge whether it's safe for overtaking, otherwise they stick their right hand out the driver's window to signal you to wait. Truck drivers are really mindful of smaller passenger vehicles, in my experience. On old fashioned highways, there is no point in anyone moving to the oncoming lane. That's how this practice started, because on the highways of old, one just didn't venture out on the oncoming lane just for the heck of it, fools are excepted.

None of the above applies to bus drivers - they are a dangerous breed. And of course, those who overtake from the left in their (dad's) cars and motorcycles are the real pain in the you-know-what.

I bemoan the day the movie "Dhoom" was released, youngsters now can only drive/ride at high speeds and can only follow a zig-zag pattern.

I only make sure that I drive safe, and use common sense. I leave other people's driving sensibilities to themselves, and try not to get distracted by what they do.

So anyway, two points regarding the original poster's curiosity: -

1. Old fashioned highways had only one lane for you and one lane for oncoming traffic.
2. There is no point is using indicators on old fashioned highways in the way they are conventionally used in the city, that's how this practice originated. They have a common code among themselves, and they won't change it for us.
I agree on the point that Truck drivers are still the better of the lot on our highways. Worst are the state transport bus drivers, who are a unique breed in themselves!

But there is a real need of people adhering to proper road signals, especially on highways and at night. I frequently commute on the Mumbai-Pune expressway and have observed this stupid behaviour where drivers in the rightmost lane show the left indicator to tell you to overtake them!!! When will they ever understand that the rightmost lane is the fastest and they need to change lanes to allow the faster vehicle to pass through. All things said, guess we need to be aware of these unsaid (and stupid) signals in the interest of our safety on the roads.
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Old 16th May 2013, 21:56   #147
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I was on one such highway years ago when a truck driver signaled with a left indicator and moved left and in less than 5 seconds My friend hit a bullock cart coming towards us using the right lane (fastest lane).

His car was obviously damaged brutally and the bulls passed urine and crap right there. We were a group of friends in 3 or more cars going for a picnic.

So while they may follow their own norms and rules, it sometimes is dangerous for animals and other humans.

I missed death by inches as the pointed object coming out of the bullock cart which hold both bulls would have pierced through my chest had my friend Not turned the steering in time.
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Old 11th February 2016, 18:02   #148
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Default Re: A strange local traffic signal...(indicator for overtaking)

The topic of this thread have become irrelevant because these days people dont use indicators at all, specially when changing lanes on highways.

How am I supposed to know the intent of the driver infront of me?? Is he going to go left or right? pathetic!
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Old 11th February 2016, 19:40   #149
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Default Re: A strange local traffic signal...(indicator for overtaking)

I think it's high time we have a dedicated indicator for overtake me on all the vehicles in maybe Green colour. The functioning would be similar to indicator by a stalk or better still by the foot pedal.
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Old 12th February 2016, 09:31   #150
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Default Re: A strange local traffic signal...(indicator for overtaking)

I think most seem to be missing the basic tenet. You indicate what you are going to do, and not what the other chap should do. So if you indicate Left indicating that 'I am willing to be overtaken' it is fine. In fact if i remember the UK highway code probably tells you to do what I have said. Remember I got my UK driving license in 1974!.
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