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Old 23rd October 2009, 23:35   #16
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Yes, depending on the road condition, drivers give way to the upcoming vehicles.

What I have also noticed is that after crossing each other the driver of the vehicle who is driving upwards will blow horn soon after crossing the other vehicle and in response the other vehicle also responds by blowing horn (just for a second or two). This is a way of thanking each other. This behavior is found mostly among the local drivers, especially bus and truck drivers and also the taxi drivers who are regular at hill sides.
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Old 24th October 2009, 00:48   #17
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Originally Posted by jp_in_hyd View Post
Hello Friends,

....... Iam embarking on a trip to Sikkim+Bhutan+Arunachal and hence
this question.
A question, if I may ask - when exactly are you planning this trip? I ask as there is a long pending trip to that part which I would like to undertake. Maybe we could tie up.

Re. Your question, TSK has summed it up and put it very well but let me paraphase him. Driving in the hills in India is not so much about 'rules' as it is about common sense and courtesy. The lighter/more powerful vehicle (read car) always gives way to the heavier/less powerful vehicle (read bus/lorry), a nimble vehicle lets the more cumbersome vehicle through. Chivalry is not dead - at least in the hills.

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Old 5th November 2009, 13:19   #18
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Hi Jp, as a person who travelled extensively in Bhutan and Sikkim, all I have to say is 'Be Chivalrous'. The drivers in these two places are experts and they will instantly recognize an outstation vehicle. They will give all possible help!

The drivers in Bhutan are the best I have come across! They will go out of their way to give you space!

The rule I follow is simple. I honk at all turns. If I hear or see a heavy vehicle coming, I decrease my speed and will try to judge whether the oncoming vehicle has enough space to pass by. If not, I pull over to the side and will let it pass by. I know how difficult it is for a heavy vehicle to start ascending from a full stop! So the first preference is always to them.

One more thing, you will not come across too many heavy vehicles in Bhutan! But be prepared to negotiate a million twists and turns!
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Old 8th November 2009, 15:13   #19
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Last year has seen me driving in the hills very frequently.

I have seen most people respect rules in the hills. A lot of maniacs however don't. I have seen people overtaking me on turns in the most reckless manner.

For the question at hand... 90% of the traffic does follow the rule. You have to keep an eye out for the rest of the 10%.

I have seen buses stopping to give way and 800 walas flying down almost crashing into our Scorpio.

Still, I enjoy driving in the hills much more than the plains.
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Old 8th November 2009, 22:37   #20
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Driving on hills/mountains is a different ball game all together, one reason being lot of blind spots and second the beauty of nature itself distracts you most of the time, In India- expect the unexpected on roads. My personal policy- find the first oppurtunity to let the guy behind me go if I see he is constantly honking like an idiot even when there is no place to go, I will be the first one to compromise on space if I see the guy in front does not look like he cares too much about safety, this is immaterial if I'm going up or down.

Last but not the least..make sure you Honk like hell on bends, cause some lunatic may be just around the corner.

Mountain driving and right of the way-dscn1642.jpg
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Old 11th November 2009, 18:18   #21
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Rightly said. I remember a Tiruvalluvar (now SETC) bus coming from Munnar to pollachi refusing to accommodate a the cheran (now TNSTC) bus in which I was travelling up hill to Munnar. The situation necessitated the SETC bus to take the right side of the road so that the TNSTC driver could take his bus as close as possible to the hill side. Though according to law the SETC driver was right, logical thinking was required which was lacking in the part of the SETC driver. Not to mention, we lost 45 minutes before one could strike sense in to the head of the SETC driver.

Bottomline, follow rules, but at the same time be pliable when situation so demands.
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes, uphill traffic has right of way.
But there are exceptions.
For example lets you you are climbing up a narrow road, and just cross a turnout, and a big heavy vehicle is coming down.
Now for that vehicle to give you way he may have to back up in reverse gear for 100 meters, but for you its 5 meters of downhill backing to the turnout.
In that case the heavy vehicle should be allowed to go, otherwise its dangerous and time consuming.
Moreover in hills if I am on a narrow road, and I spot a heavy vehicle coming towards me, I start scouting for turnouts so that I can stop and let them pass.
Its easy for cars to stop and start, but a bus climbing a hill needs to maintain momentum.
So nothing is black or white
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Old 11th November 2009, 18:27   #22
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Originally Posted by vijayummidi View Post

What I have also noticed is that after crossing each other the driver of the vehicle who is driving upwards will blow horn soon after crossing the other vehicle and in response the other vehicle also responds by blowing horn (just for a second or two)
Yes we still do that around here.

OT. After seeing Samurai jacks post I thought I should share this here as seen on a board here.

Drive Slow, see Scenery. Drive Fast, See Cemetery.

Last edited by beejay : 11th November 2009 at 18:29. Reason: OT>>>
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