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Old 18th June 2010, 14:29   #1
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Default "Who will tie the bell?" - A question on road safety & discipline

Whenever I go through the monthly car / vehicles sales figures, I can feel the excitement of companies / individuals on the rocketing sales figures. Yes, increasing sales is important for economic growth as it contributes more turn over, creates more employment opportunities, give more freedom for movement, more fun, etc. Naturally companies are focused on increasing the market share and sustained growth. But there is also a terrific face for this growth – the increasing vehicle density, pollution, accidents, noise etc. But the growth is a necessary evil, its better to collectively think what we can do to address the concern on road safety and discipline.

It’s sad to tell that most government and public establishments are unaware of the fast development happened and many of the upcoming challenges they have to face. Most of them are sleeping with their three decade old policies on traffic regulations and road safety.

Thanks Dr.Manmohan Sigh for his excellent economic reforms on the license raj and FDIs which we are enjoying today, but everybody forgot the need for development of a robust public infrastructure and revived traffic policies to support the life and health of the citizens. Let's have a glance to our native cities / places
  • Do our cities have planned roads to support the increasing vehicle population?
  • Forget about stringent traffic rules, whether the basic traffic rules are being implemented?
  • What are the bills passed which ensures maintaining the vehicle condition (at least in a basic level)?
  • Do our roads have enough sign boards and direction indicators?
  • Are there any policies to maintain the lane disciplines, at least in the city limit?
  • What’s the guarantee of safety for a pedestrian in a zebra line?
  • Which government did strict implementation on speed limits?
  • Is there are any reliable establishments where you can file your complaints and get justice?
  • Forget incredible India, do we keep the basic cleanliness in the road?
  • What initiates are taken to improve the efficiency of traffic police?
  • Are our driving schools and driving tests are outdated?
The list may be never ending. But remember one or more of these issues compounds and may result in a disaster where any of us may be involved. According to Times of India, we can be proud that we are the number one in road accident deaths, across the globe. As per the report – “At least 13 people die every hour to road accidents in the country, the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveals. In 2007, 1.14 lakh people in India lost their lives in road mishaps

Being traveled in multiple counties, I know how rash and undisciplined our people are once they are behind the steering wheel. Most of us are individually good and nice, but are very aggressive in the road so that we get a gold cup at the end of the journey. If an educated and disciplined person like you and me do like this, can we blame an uneducated or illiterate cab / truck driver?

I want to make this thread as an eye opener for the bhpians, -“What can we do?”. I am not asking to start a billion dollar project to make the system clean, but humbly request to take ourselves some easy and simple steps like…
  • slow /stop the car when somebody is about to cross a zebra line.
  • throwing out garbage out while driving.
  • stop the car safely and attend phone calls while driving
  • regular use of seat belts.
These are small and inexpensive actions, but when practiced by more and more people, a new and better culture will be evolved. As bhpians, let’s volunteer and gradually guide our associates like our family, friends, coworkers and co passengers the need for practicing these habits. Let’s practice, what they don’t teach in the driving schools and think that it’s our primary duty to keep our roads a much cleaner, better and safer place.

Feel free to contribute your viewpoints on the same….
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Old 18th June 2010, 14:36   #2
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Sunil, you have raised a nice point here. I agree with your views, but do we really have basic deciplines to start with? Need to start from school level but after certain extent, unless and until Govt. authorities do not support, nothing can be achieved.
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Old 18th June 2010, 14:53   #3
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Yes, Jayant, you raised a very valid point....we need to start from school, at least for the upcoming generation. But in our case, can we make a try?
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Old 18th June 2010, 16:31   #4
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For me, what is taught in schools goes a long way in shaping up our habits for the rest of our lives - including traffic sense. Just to cite a small example, we were taught that whenever we have to cross a road, we need to look left, then right and then left again and start crossing only when it is safe to do so. Similarly another rule of 'straight first' when joining traffic at intersections/ crossings.

However I see far too many people in Chennai just darting across the road unmindful of traffic from either directions. Forget about small-time accidents, I have seen so many avoidable deaths on the East Coast Road either because someone crossing the road got hit, or the driver in trying to avoid hitting the pedestrian lost control of the vehicle. Then there are these stupid bikers who dart out of the side lanes like a rocket with absolutely no concern for oncoming vehicles.

While I may have mentioned some specific cases that I have witnessed in Chennai, I am sure this is the case elsewhere in the country too. Not only do we need to instill basic traffic sense in our children but need to follow the same ourselves too. After all children follow what they see their elders doing.

Last edited by gvivek75 : 18th June 2010 at 16:35. Reason: added text
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Old 18th June 2010, 19:40   #5
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during my stay in new york last august i saw a teacher taking a class on road discipline on the road. she actually made the children cross the road in a proper way.
i dunno when such practices will be made compulsory in indian school. we have classes on sex education made compulsory in school ut none teaching civic sense.
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Old 18th June 2010, 20:06   #6
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Default Attitude Shift

To add to what has already been said, the values and rules need to be imbibed from school. But Children actually learn a lot from their environment. Children in our country travel with their parents.
If we as parents and adults, do not inculcate civic and driving sense into out lifestyle, it is difficult for Children to do it.

Also, a move like this requires an Attitude Shift, the problem is the interlinkages of this with other things, like our 'Chalta hai' attitude or 'When in rome, do as the romans do'. Due to this, people who are well aware of proper driving and civic sense do not follow it as no one else is doing so.

The interlinkages force us to find a comprehensive solution, encompassing
- awareness about road safety
- driving ethics
- civic sense
- A move away from the typical 'Chalta hai' Attitude
- A robust infrastructural setup in our cities to support the paradigm shift

All this and more is required at the same time to being about and attitude shift which might take years to show results.

My two cents!!

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Old 18th June 2010, 22:07   #7
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Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
during my stay in new york last august i saw a teacher taking a class on road discipline on the road. she actually made the children cross the road in a proper way.
i dunno when such practices will be made compulsory in indian school. we have classes on sex education made compulsory in school ut none teaching civic sense.

If only more educators were like that.
Ultimately the onus falls and teachers and parents to act responsible and instill good behavior in their children.

Case-in-point one of my friends dad's always used to drive recklessly ever since we were little kids. Now my friend is 18, has a license, and also drives recklessly just like his dad.
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Old 27th January 2013, 19:47   #8
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Default The Sham That Is The Road Safety Week

So the first two weeks of the new year were declared the Road Safety Week(s). Had a chance to visit the e-Way on the sixth of Jan, and the toll plaza was playing the safety slogans. One of them was on driving the heavy vehicles in the left lanes. And there were a couple of Shivneri buses in the right-most lanes, oblivious to the announcement being played (which was in Marathi).

Throughout the new year, I have been observing the traffic police are simply too busy doing something other than catch the offenders. The biggest menace on the highways has turned out to be the trucks hogging the right lanes. I am not sure if the traffic cops are simply incompetent in their jobs or they collect haftas for allowing such violations. A few days later the ToI carried an article on the 'success' of the road safety week, with the number of offenders caught by the traffic cops.

I feel like asking the question: How many traffic cops does it take to stop a violation?

Has there been a reduction in the number of people using their cellphones while driving?
Has there been a reduction in the number of vehicles sporting dark films?
Has there been a reduction in the number of vehicles with non-standard numberplates?
Has there been a reduction in the number of vehicles with blinding headlighs?
Has there been a reduction in the number of vehicles with non-functional tail lights?
there been a reduction in the number of vehicles violating speed limits on city roads?

Why do the cops even bother to declare and observe this week when the number of people dying in road accidents has not reduced?
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Old 27th January 2013, 21:01   #9
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Default Re: The Sham That Is The Road Safety Week

A very good thread.
All these declarations are a mere eyewash and to pat themselves on the back.Safety should be a way of life.All the campaigns fizzle out after sometime specially the one that prohibits people talking on the phones.I have seen cops standing in a bunch and chatting and people driving by talking or stopping halfway on the road after a red signal and thereby preventing a smooth flow of traffic.
The answer to all your questions is a big emphatic no.
We may rave and rant but things wont change until they increase the fine.A few months back on Team-bhp I had asked a rhetorical question"would you break a signal if the fine was say rs 5000?
PS:Off topic: Decades back there was a cartoon by R.K.Laxman showing a passenger holding the bar on a moving BEST bus and being dragged as he didnt have a foothold on the board.The conductor says"help yourself.The courtesy week is over"

Last edited by faustus77 : 27th January 2013 at 21:08.
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Old 4th February 2013, 12:50   #10
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Default Re: "Who will tie the bell?" - A question on road safety & discipline

Nissan’s safety initiative in India.

Nissan has begun its road safety initiative in India, the Nissan ‘Safety Driving Forum’. The activities were held over two days in Noida, and were aimed at showcasing the benefits of safety equipment on cars.

There were static displays explaining safety features like lane departure warning, brake assist and ABS. Apart from these, two simulators were also on hand. One showed participants the benefits of seat belts by turning a Nissan Micra upside down with passengers seated inside, while the other simulated the forces experienced by passengers in case of a collision.

Source : ACI
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Old 12th February 2013, 17:04   #11
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Default Re: "Who will tie the bell?" - A question on road safety & discipline

That's a nice initiative Nissan.....Every revolutions started from baby steps. One small step every car manufacturers can follow is to make driver side airbag as a basic feature, even with the lowest versions.

Governments and cops are rushing to peel out sun-films....but on behalf or public interest why don't there is a verdict - to have air bags (at least front) in all passenger vehicles manufactured from 2014?

But sadly, as vehicle population increases, the road accidents in India is increasing day by day. As per available statistics in 2011 (form all states and union territories)... the frequency of service from Indian roads to hell / heaven was 3.5 minutes. Tickets were reserved for 17 passengers an hour, ie approximately for 390 every day which translates to around 1.42lakhs / year.

Source :

By God's grace today we are able to read team-bhp and who knows one ticket is reserved for us or our dear ones?

I think the following hoardings from highway department makes sense....

Image Source :
Attached Images

Last edited by sunil8089 : 12th February 2013 at 17:05.
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Old 12th February 2013, 17:54   #12
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Default Re: "Who will tie the bell?" - A question on road safety & discipline

Agree to most of what everyone has said. The impressions from school do contribute in a big way to what we do now.
One of the favorite past time when I have stopped at any signal is to count the number of people jumping the signal. What I have noticed is more than the so called uneducated/ poorly educated cabbies it is the educated lot that loves to jump the signal. On an average I see 12-15 people jumping signal (60sec duration). I wonder why? I have never found a justified answer for that.
Add to it the crap I have to listen when I refuse to break a signal (when unfortunately at the front row!), I am made to feel as if am not bold enough or incorrect in doing so. I have had multiple instances where I have landed myself at loggerheads due to such issues.
Zebra crossing are a joke! Pedestrians are forced to cross the road between the moving traffic.
Spitting/ garbage disposal is a birthright for many. I am scared to ride near a bus fearing some mouth missile would be heading my way.
Education in India is only used to get a job and earn money. Very few who do want to adhere to rules are forced to break or have to face consequences.
This is more of attitude problem which cannot be merely solved by educating in school. The traffic cops MUST get stricter and penalize every incident at least where the are located.
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Old 12th February 2013, 23:56   #13
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Default Re: "Who will tie the bell?" - A question on road safety & discipline

Interesting points raised but I think the current terminology is "Who will bell the cat?"
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Old 13th February 2013, 09:15   #14
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Default Re: "Who will tie the bell?" - A question on road safety & discipline

It is all about SELF DISCIPLINE.

The developed countries never face such issues, because they strive on harsh penalties and punishments.

We have been so much consumed by bribes and misuse of powers, we have in a way become arrogant and lacking in self discipline.

A simple Rs. 1000/- fine (for most traffic rules violations in general) is by passed off by giving a Rs. 100/- bribe. If the same was Rs. 25,000/-, would the cops settle for the same Rs. 100/- NO (all of us are greedy). That will be the trigger from government. Basically you settle to having legible papers to avoid paying bribes of thousands and therein starts the adherence.

We don't need to bell the cat, frankly. Just make it heavy and lazy to run...
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Old 13th February 2013, 12:03   #15
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Nice thread.
This seems to be a common problem in must countries where people have to instinctively "fight" for resources.
This attitude becomes so ingrained in us that, even when you don't have to fight for resources, the animal instinct remains.

And of course, driving/riding a vehicle gives us a feeling of power and our survival instincts start playing out more vigorously.

I think compassion is the term. This must be taught and taught again. People who show compassion must be exemplified, instead of gunda gardi (like we see in movies). And we must be a living example for this to our kids.
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