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Old 8th March 2024, 10:45   #1
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Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

Hi fellow bhpians,

We encounter slow moving traffic every time we hit the road. Be it a city road or a highway, there is no difference. Take a case of a city road, where the typical maximum speed limit is 40 kmph. It is almost impossible to get the average speed three fourths of the maximum permissible speed. It is the same on highways also, if you stick to the speed limit. Most of the trips, the average speed would be less than half of the maximum permissible speed (This is my observation, correct me If I am wrong).

Who would be more responsible for this, given good road conditions? A slow driver who obstructs the flow of traffic or an aggressive driver who frequently switches the lanes? The slow moving vehicle forces the other vehicle to slow down and wait for overtaking. Similarly, an aggressive driver who switches lanes frequently forces other drivers to apply brakes and slow down. In both the cases, a phantom intersection is created which may last long enough to affect the speed of many vehicles downstream.

The presence of many such phantom intersections cause significant reduction in average traffic speed and even, the average speed of the road hog. When you encounter a slow moving vehicle, it is easy to discern that your travel time will be increased by an increment time which is greater than zero. However, I find the number of aggressive drivers on the road who switch lanes frequently is much higher than the slow moving vehicles. Hence, I guess, the second category is that drivers stretch our travel time more compared to the first category.

Since this argument is purely based on my observations and there is no real data to support it, it can be wrong also. Hence, I would like to have the opinions of fellow BHPians on this. If this argument is correct, we can reduce our travel time significantly with a little patience. Thank you!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 8th March 2024 at 11:24. Reason: Paragraphing
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Old 8th March 2024, 11:02   #2
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

Proper roads.

Follow lane discipline.

Follow speed discipline.

All vehicles on road should be able to reach their designated speed limits.

Points mentioned above with highways in mind.

Coming to your direct question, it is very subjective and is not easy to come to a conclusion.

Last edited by deathwalkr : 8th March 2024 at 11:04.
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Old 8th March 2024, 11:28   #3
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

I think there are many factors at play for this situation.

Ruling out road conditions and the sheer volume of traffic v/s road capacity which frustrates most road users, I would say that each road user has his/her own speed limit in any given stretch of road.
In the absence of camera/ traffic police, we seldom think about speed limits or traffic rules. For example, I don't think any of us can swear that we have never gone above the speed limit in Electronic City flyover. Someone driving within the speed limits here will most likely be looked upon by others as a 'slow moving vehicle'.
Maybe we will see a great improvement if all our roads were camera-monitored and there was strict enforcement by the traffic authorities. Technology seems to be the only solution provider. I tend to think that's how the over populated China and Singapore manage to have things under control.
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Old 8th March 2024, 11:59   #4
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

One of the newly grown major chunk causing road congestion these days is mostly the mobile phone users who have their brains absent on the roads. They are bound to drive slow occupying two or more lanes at the same time leaving no space for others to pass. They are busiest people who have whole weight of the earth on their soldiers, if they won't be using the their mobile phones, the earth will fall down so don't even think of talking about them.

Count the big gadget-on-wheel type cars also in the above category since most of their drivers are also found fiddling with the distracting screen features in their tech heavy cars. And why not, after-all they bought a gadget to enjoy the features, not a car to drive, so they have full right to enjoy it he way they wanted, and heavenly things like ADAS has made their lives much more easier to enjoy the features. So nobody has any right to complain here.

Rickshaw drivers have always been ignorant about the other road users since many decades and gonna remain the same forever so not talking about them.

Unscientific road construction, illegal and unethical parking and encroachments near the road junctions also have been there since many decades causing bottlenecks at every road junction. This also gonna remain same forever so no point talking about them either.

I guess only solution is the complete dooms day, after which a new generation will be forced to start from the scratch and hopefully they will not repeat the mistakes of the ancestors (us) who caused the dooms day due to their chaotic practices during their lifetime.

Last edited by tbppjpr : 8th March 2024 at 12:16.
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Old 8th March 2024, 13:04   #5
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

E-Rickshaws!

Their infestation, particularly in West Delhi, has been a great cause of concern for a lot of road users. Did you say max city speed of 40kmph? Welcome to the realm of e-rickshaws with average max speed of 5-10kmph! Best part - they force you to crawl, you can't overtake them easily and the cherry on the cake is they will abruptly stop anywhere and everywhere without warning/signal/indicator. You really have to be mindful around them. There is always a slow-moving traffic when a shinning e-rickshaw is leading the way. While I understand a lot of people use them for their daily commutes, they are just absolute nuisance for other vehicles.
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Old 8th March 2024, 16:13   #6
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

For me, the irritants are the people who don't progress appropriately ( i.e taking several lifetimes to reach road appropriate speed). Go slow doesn't mean one should be doing 40 on a road which is supposed handle traffic at 60. But how will we change when people issuing licenses or the instructors (most of them who do not allow beyond 40 or 3rd gear) don't even bother to convey a basic thing like this to learners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbppjpr View Post
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I guess only solution is the complete dooms day, after which a new generation will be forced to start from the scratch and hopefully they will not repeat the mistakes of the ancestors (us) who caused the dooms day due to their chaotic practices during their lifetime.
Absolutely, an Armageddon can only save us now.
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Old 8th March 2024, 17:31   #7
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

Drivers with zero spatial awareness and no consideration for other road users certainly has to be a cause. Be it someone who takes a full minute to make a lane change, 3 minutes to accelerate from 50 to 80 km/h, or drives in between lanes to make an overtake impossible, I usually see inattentive drivers causing the pile-ups.

On a recent 35 kilometre drive on Hyderabad's ORR which has a 120 km/h speed limit, the speedometer literally did not cross 90 km/h. The reason wasn't an insane volume of traffic, it was the many slow clusters of 3-5 cars that took up multiple lanes at once, barely doing speeds fit for single carriageways! Each time we passed them, I'd see drivers staring straight ahead as though they were concentrating heavily on winning the slowest car chase in history, or were on their phones.

This problem of drivers being spatially unaware rears its ugly head elsewhere too. Just yesterday for example, I was in an auto at a traffic light. As it turned green, the 5-series in front of us did not move at all for a solid five seconds, despite all traffic in front of it having moved. Some very frustrated honking from a TSRTC bus was what finally got the driver to drop their phone and start moving.

Driving requires effort, and people sometimes seem to forget the perils of multitasking.
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Old 8th March 2024, 17:36   #8
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

Slow moving traffic makes more people to drive aggressively. If most of the vehicles follow similar speed, then the scope of overtaking would go down and people fall in line. Another major irritant is people entering or leaving the road and it gets worse when they aren’t sure where to do that.

I remember visiting mumbai some 15 years back and was wondering how organised the traffic there was compared to Chennai where each were going at their own speeds, braking and swerving. On the other hand, in mumbai the speeds at which vehicles were travelling were more or less the same and you couldn’t go fast even if you wanted to.
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Old 8th March 2024, 20:48   #9
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

Neither. Large volume of vehicles on the road at the same time is responsible for slow moving traffic.

This can be proved by looking at much higher avg traffic speeds past midnight in the cities. You will notice that neither a truck crawling at 30 kmph nor an aggressively driven zig-zagging car will cause traffic issues.

Hypothetically, even if all cars are on the road are fully autonomous & the cars accelerate/cruise/brake with highest possible efficiency, you will still have slow moving traffic beyond a certain "traffic volume" threshold for each road/junction.

Last edited by SmartCat : 8th March 2024 at 20:52.
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Old 9th March 2024, 17:27   #10
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

I believe we need to adhere with the average speed at which the traffic at the respective location is moving. Like if we are moving in a Honda City with a swarm of bikes, scooters, e-rickshaws, autorickshaws and Tata Aces, those Ashok Leyland Dosts and City buses, its always better that we do not try to outdo the speed trying to overtake every vehicle here. Only if traffic conditions permit, should we attempt to overtake the swarm.

But otherwise, in the swiftly moving intracity traffic along many stretches usually the e-rickshaws, autorickshaws, the mini trucks are laggards and so also many slow drivers on cars that move slowly. Many of them do not give the right of way to cars moving at steady speeds.

Yes switching lanes without indicators has become common, is unsafe and a traffic offence but noone gets booked for it. It has become too common as many rash and negligent drivers seem to have "more than important tasks" to be done at their destinations, including browsing the social media and so on.

Conclusively, the blame can be apportioned both on the moppers and the road hogs. Moppers give birth to road hogs who are sometimes lethal for others.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 9th March 2024 at 17:41.
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Old 11th March 2024, 11:06   #11
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

I have an opinion that may prove as unpopular, but the slow road hogs worsen traffic a significant amount in my view. Members of traffic who react slowly to traffic signals, the flow of traffic, and the pace of traffic have a cascading effect on how traffic is worsened. Their slower pace (if well under the speed limit) tends to cause an accumulation of faster-moving traffic right behind them. In my view, India needs to have minimum speed limits and enforced fines for certain areas to prevent the aforementioned cascading effect caused by multiple road hogs. I feel like the best way to move in light traffic is to be smooth with your inputs and be 5-10% above the speed limit if you're in a car, and 5-10% faster than the flow of traffic if you're in a motorcycle.

On the flip-side, aggressive car drivers who feel the need to keep changing lanes in slow moving traffic are a far bigger threat to steady flow of traffic.
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Old 11th March 2024, 12:18   #12
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

I do not have a problem in following another vehicle provided he/she is going in same speed as others (follow the crowd).
But most of the time drivers have no plans and can stop anywhere or slow down as per their wish.
Aggressive driving may give few minutes of time advantage that's all. Also these aggression lasts only for few minutes, or gets triggered when they see other aggressive drivers.

Always use your judgement and follow rules.
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Old 11th March 2024, 13:32   #13
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

Here in NCR if I see a car in the middle or the first lane driving real slow then it's either one of these three cases, in order of their frequency:

1. Driver is texting on the phone.
2. Driver is drunk.
3. A senior citizen is driving.
I personally also drive slower than the limit, for example if the limit on the expressway is 100 i will drive at 70-80 unless it's completely empty. The problem on our roads is you can't maintain a gap in front without slowing down often, people will and do cut others off all the time. I have also noticed that it's quite a bit more scary to drive at a safe speed rather than speeding without a care in the world.
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Old 11th March 2024, 13:47   #14
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

As someone who is not comfortable breaking rules but equally uncomfortable holding up others, I do have a questions. Are there situations where a person is 'expected' to break the rule? I understand these are very India specific (and Bangalore if that helps).

1. Lets say I am driving on a 2 lane road separated by double-line so traffic is prohibited from crossing over to the other side. When there is a really slow driver (a learner or an auto insisting on driving slow in the middle of the lane) I feel pressured by those behind to cross over to the other side to overtake.

2. There are roads with 30/40 kmph limits but other vehicles are flying. Do I match others' speed or maintain speed limit?

3. I feel very irritated when people overtake me rudely when I am following the rules/refusing to overtake from the wrong side etc. Am I the problem?
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Old 11th March 2024, 15:01   #15
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Re: Slow moving traffic! Who is more responsible for this? A mopper or a road hog?

One other irritant on roads, especially observed when you pass a vehicle seeming like deliberately slowing traffic, despite speed limits for the stretch allowing for higher acceleration and the road ahead is clear, would in 99 out of 100 situations happens because the Driver is engrossed in a phone conversation and often times with the headset to the ears !!
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