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Old 20th June 2020, 15:21   #1
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Default Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Am curious and thought that given the sheer number of road trips+ mileage clocked here by forum patrons, this is an ideal sample base.

In so many threads I have seen comments about Highway robbers, and how it is unsafe and yet in all my and my collective (close friends, family) experience, not even 1 person has been robbed by Highway robbers, that I am wondering if am some exceptionally lucky soul.

If the mods could make this a poll, it would be easier to tabulate the results.
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Old 20th June 2020, 15:35   #2
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Default re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

The thieves did not rob me instead they damaged my vehicle.
This happened near the Dharamsala cricket stadium. I had parked my car and went inside a shop to buy a few souvenirs for the kids. When i came back and put the key in the keyhole to start the ignition, a few bike riders came at a very high speed.
I though they were bikers travelling but they weren't. They were a bunch of goons. The one sitting at the back of the bike had a rod or bat in his hand and slammed it on my right ORVM and sped away.
Since it was an innova which is a toyota, it had tremendous build quality and was available to withstand the impact. There were only a few damages, the orvm cover had a few scratches and the covers top part came out.
Though still it was a very scary experience. We reached our home at chandigarh later that evening and the next morning we visited the service center and got it fixed. Thankfully due to the less damage it was fixed in less than an hour.
Not talking about the damage, the overall experience was really very scary.
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Old 20th June 2020, 15:54   #3
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Default re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

I’ve never been mugged or had any untoward incident over all my years of driving on Indian highways. If anything, I’ve had a number of good experiences with people helping out in need. I also do a lot of night driving. My system is to drive on roads which are used by truckers whenever possible. These roads are never empty, and have 24x7 open dhabas and pumps. Of course, bad luck can strike anyone anywhere, but this basic system increases your odds of staying safe.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 20th June 2020 at 15:55.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 10:44   #4
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
Am curious and thought that given the sheer number of road trips+ mileage clocked here by forum patrons, this is an ideal sample base.
I have many a times been in a situation where I thought I would be mugged, but it turned out quite the opposite.

The only rule I follow is I stay positive and don't allow any such thoughts to come when I'm travelling. Ofcourse, I do take some precautions and I always prefer to stop at a truck stop / dhaba over a family restaurant just because a truck stop is busy and full of hustle and bustle.

Here is a pic of my car at one such place. There were no other private cars and I felt very safe to stop here to take a power nap.
Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?-9504509e94d548b5968b7064d87681d1.jpg
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Old 22nd June 2020, 17:33   #5
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Never!

On similar note, there is another thread where I had posted about best practices to adhere to whenever driving at night from my experiences of driving on our highways at night. Since I do not want to take the effort to type it all over again, I am quoting my own post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Have done quite a few regular drives at night with my family but strictly on my regular roads/corridors that I often travel where there is not only thick freight traffic but also regular private traffic. One of the key aspects to this is to never give even the toll booth operator a hint that you are with family.
  • At night, I am the only one in the front row and if I have to make a pit stop, I do so at the toll booth where you already have buses stopped for helping their passenger's relieve. With rest-rooms around toll booths becoming better (yes), it is a regular scene to spot buses stop by for a quick break

  • Refueling should be pre-planned with such drives that you don't have to pull over in the middle of the night to quench the thirst of your car. It better to tank up before 22:00 or after 05:00!

  • Simply avoid confrontation of any sort with anyone at night - Toll staff, other road users, locals etc. Absolutely not worth it

  • Avoid turning the cabin lights on when driving or even when waiting at the toll booth - These are unnecessary but obvious hints to grab attention from strangers

  • Many say, at nights it is safe to follow a local vehicle who knows the roads better - I always avoid this. The local vehicle upon realising that he is being followed would get obvious hints that you are someone new to their area (and a possible prey) or you may totally end up with a broken suspension or a bent rim or two when you end up bumping into a bad pothole or a speedbreaker that the car ahead missed. Safer option would be to follow a bus instead

  • When stopping by at the toll booth for refreshment, be absolutely careful how not to carry your loaded wallet full of currencies to buy that Tea/coffee for 10 bucks. Simply take out loose change, walk out and buy your choice. The world around doesn't need to know you have loads of cards or cash with you. Same with expensive mobile phones too. Trying to be a dude here doesn't help

Lastly, be aware of the perils of driving at night when things go wrong - Unexpected breakdown or a flat tire.
These experiences are from various highways across the country and I have crossed certain sections of such highways by driving through the night.

For instance, in 2012, I had done New Delhi - Kolkata during the day. Same was with Kharagpur - Vizag. But in 2013, we drove these sections exactly at the night.

At one stage, we did feel apprehensive about driving at night, especially WB- BR - UP section but the most compelling reason to trust was that the fuel stations including ATMs in towns that we crossed were all open and functional. This was perhaps one of the reasons we felt things were not as bad as we presumed. Also, since these were not internal routes, it added some confidence too.

Last edited by paragsachania : 22nd June 2020 at 17:58.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 23:45   #6
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

I have had my share of experiences on the road.

The one which I can share on this thread is as follows. I think I had mentioned this in some other thread as well.

So, it was March of 2017 or 18. Due to Holi, it was a long weekend and I decided to go ona drive with my family, which includes my senior citizen parents, my wife, my son (around 7 or 8 yrs old) and my cousin sister.

This was going.to be a religious trip as we had planned to visit a newly constructed temple where the main idol was to be put in the temple. It was a big event.

Now, while returning, due to Holi, I noticed a lot of small kids every 100/200 mtrs were asking for money. Since it was a new place for me, I thought it better to avoid any issues and happily gave a couple of such groups some money.

This kept continuing though. At one place these kids had completely blocked the road with stones and sticks. Luckily there was a police patrolling jeep right behind me and the kids let the car pass without any issues. However I wasn't lucky the next time over. By now the police jeep had already went past me.

So, here there was a guy, must be in his mid forties. He was sitting in a road side shanty. The moment he saw me approaching, he suddenly jumped in the middle of the road and started demanding Rs. 100.
By now, I had it enough and was in no mood to give anymore money to anyone.
So I slightly moved the car ahead. He stood right in the front keeping his left hand on the bonnet. I honked and moved another inch.
I think this ticked him off and he brought out his hockey stick. He was going to break the windscreen, but seems better sense prevailed and he hit the bonnet with a full blow. Enough to dent the bonnet of an Ecosport!
The scene wasn't over yet! With his other hand he pulled out a big knife like tool. All of this was happening so fast that I did not realise that I had already stepped on the accelerator and the car was moving ahead. With a massive swing, he then hit the front bumper with the knife. There are two deep cuts even today!

Luckily, the road ahead was clear and I sped away only to stop after a good 100 km run.

Last edited by Aditya : 21st September 2020 at 21:46. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 23rd June 2020, 00:21   #7
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Never!

Many say, at nights it is safe to follow a local vehicle who knows the roads better - I always avoid this. The local vehicle upon realising that he is being followed would get obvious hints that you are someone new to their area (and a possible prey) or you may totally end up with a broken suspension or a bent rim or two when you end up bumping into a bad pothole or a speedbreaker that the car ahead missed. Safer option would be to follow a bus instead
All valid points but I would disagree with you in regards to following a bus. The chances of suffering a broken suspension or even worse is more when you follow a bus/truck which has a much larger wheelbase and a rugged suspension. The bus would easily drive over massive potholes since the wheelbase width would be more than the width of the pothole itself. But your car would be caught dead in the tracks. So from that angle, following a vehicle of similar dimensions is a much safer option.

I have infact seen this even while avoiding dead animals on the road. A bus/truck may choose to pass over a carcass with no damage but your vehicle would hit it.

Last edited by drmohitg : 23rd June 2020 at 00:23.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 05:19   #8
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
All valid points but I would disagree with you in regards to following a bus. The chances of suffering a broken suspension or even worse is more when you follow a bus/truck which has a much larger wheelbase and a rugged suspension. The bus would easily drive over massive potholes since the wheelbase width would be more than the width of the pothole itself. But your car would be caught dead in the tracks. So from that angle, following a vehicle of similar dimensions is a much safer option.

I have infact seen this even while avoiding dead animals on the road. A bus/truck may choose to pass over a carcass with no damage but your vehicle would hit it.
In fact, I have actually mentioned about how following even a car like vehicle would still result in such damages that you mention too . During rains, following such vehicles from a distance is a strict no no too because they create and impression that the rain is more intense than actual by ensuring enough spray of water from their wheels onto your windscreen. The moment the gap gets longer, you realize you never needed that wiper at all!!

Personally, be it local or a long haul vehicle, I would avoid tailing them for exactly similar reasons that you have mentioned. Or else, by now I would have had many stories to share about bent rims or broken suspension.

Still, safer than following a private car.

Last edited by paragsachania : 23rd June 2020 at 05:44.
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Old 23rd June 2020, 07:51   #9
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Never.

- Have done several day and overnight trips on 2 and 4 wheelers across the country, a lot of them alone. Never have faced any such events.

- have taken halts during day and nights for short naps (if sleepy) or just resting breaks, again never been troubled

- these halts have been at restaurant parkings, Near toll gates, or on the open highway. Once even in the middle of the western ghats, up in dark forested area with no mobile network and a broken radiator. Again, never faced any issues


The reason I'm stating such points - there are bad people, and there will be bad experiences faced by a few in the world. But they are and will be in the very minority. To the majority reading this thread, let's not get too paranoid or worked up.

Be vigilant, take basic precautions and in 99.99% scenarios, you'll find that you are safe. Our roads aren't all that bad at all
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Old 6th September 2020, 02:55   #10
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsessedByFIAT View Post

At one place these kids had completely blocked the road with stones and sticks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsessedByFIAT View Post

he suddenly jumped in the middle of the road and started demanding Rs. 100.
I have a few such scary experiences, specially when I used to travel on bike. They come with a receipt book in a group of 8-10 people and demand donation for Ganpati. You give the money even though you know none of this money will go for Ganpati but probably for these people's drinks and parties. If someone refuses things can get unpleasant like what you have experienced.
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Old 6th September 2020, 08:38   #11
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Many many years ago, in the 80s, my dad took us to Nashik. Our family (4 persons) and my dad's friend's family (5 persons) were en route to Trimbakeshwar temple when suddenly the lead car "ran over" a chicken. Immediately almost the whole village gathered surrounded our cars demanding exorbitant compensation for killing their "champion" chicken (yes, they actually said champion)
Both my dad and his friend have been amateur wrestlers, but considering two ladies and 5 children with them, they decided to pay the ransom.
Later on the driver told us this was a very common practice. The villagers would identify single commuters or vehicles with family, wait for the vehicle to approach the bend in the road and throw their feathered friend under the wheels. Almost daily the village sacrificed their "champion chicken".

Besides this, does toll for roads still under construction count as robbery or mugging?
If yes, then I have been robbed on the Pune Satara stretch multiple times.
Also twice (to and fro) at Farakka bridge in the chicken neck, WB.
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Old 6th September 2020, 10:17   #12
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

In the 60's when I was around 5, my father working as a manager in a oil company, was posted in Kanpur, covering petrol pumps in Kanpur, Orai and Jhansi (Dacoit infected Bundelkhand) area.

We mother, elder sister had accompanied him on a trip to Jhansi in our Ambassador, we were returning to Jhansi from its district, it was twilight, and father had parked the car to cool it, this was a regular feature in cars of that time.

I was standing next to him with the bonnet open, when a burly chap with a gun on a horse approached us, he looked at us and then at mother and sister, asked what's wrong, father said nothing just cooling the engine, after sometime he asked again, father said we'll leave in 10 minutes, this man was frisking around and getting angry, he sternly said leave, dad knew something was wrong, we left immediately, on approaching Jhansi we stopped at a pump and he narrated the incidence to the owner, he said you were lucky and saved, this guy was the advance party for giving all clear to the dacoit party which was to follow, for a major strike somewhere.
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Old 6th September 2020, 10:24   #13
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
In so many threads I have seen comments about Highway robbers, and how it is unsafe and yet in all my and my collective (close friends, family) experience, not even 1 person has been robbed by Highway robbers, that I am wondering if am some exceptionally lucky soul.

If the mods could make this a poll, it would be easier to tabulate the results.
Good subject idea for a thread.

I too have driven extensively on highways including night drives. Never been robbed or never even feel threatened. In fact I had good experiences from the people.

My journeys include:
  • Pune - Hyderabad through semi rural roads after Solapur. Driven at night.
  • Pune Raipur through the forest area between Bhandara and Rajnandgaon. Driven at night.
  • Pune Jabalpur via Nagpur, through forest area after Nagpur. Driven in the daytime.
  • Pune Amravati through lonely roads after Jalna. Driven in the night few times.
  • Pune - Bhopal - Sagar - Maihar. The Vidisha - Sagar - Damoh - Katni is a lonely stretch in MP.
  • Numerous Pune Mumbai trips and Pune Ahmedabad trips in the day or night.

Of course I have been watchful, as a habit.

But I too feel that robbery is rare. Of course, we need to take basic precautions.

It will be a good to have a poll on this.

Last edited by Rahul Bhalgat : 6th September 2020 at 10:29.
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Old 8th September 2020, 21:53   #14
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

In my 60K+ of highway experience, never been mugged. All I have heard are stories. I believe some of them might be true, but surely the frequency of such incidents is not high.
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Old 20th September 2020, 12:36   #15
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Default Re: Have you ever been robbed / mugged on a highway?

I prefer traveling during the day light owing to the following personal experiences :

1) It was in Nov end 2000 and my father was posted in a remote place around 120 kms further from shimla towards Rampur .At around 6pm we received a telephone call regarding the untimely demise of my maternal uncle in Delhi a good 480 kms away .We had reached the place at around 5 pm after a 7 hour journey from Mohali the same day.There was no way of avoiding the journey as the funeral was to be conducted next day noon.After having tea and packing out some food for the journey ,we immediately left for chandigarh and planned to reach by 1 am morning .It was a full steep incline from Kingal to Narkanda at a height of approx 10000 ft .We were trying to follow HRTC buses which have drivers expert in night and hilly track driving .We reached Narkanda at around 9:30 pm and wanted to tank up but surprisingly the petrol pump operator refused to give us petrol without any apparent reason .Anyways ,we moved on and reached a place matiana at around 10 :45 pm.While looking out for fuel pump & driving through the bazar ,we came across a group of people and one of them was drunk and he tried to block the car by coming in front of it .We tried to reason but he won't budge .Anyhow ,my father who was sitting at the back signalled him to come over at the back side and when he moved away from car ,I pressed the acceleration and sped away .He threw a knife on the back of the car but luckily it hit the boot lid of zen and nothing happened when we later on checked it .We reached shimla at around 12:15 night and got the vehicle tanked up for further journey to Mohali .We reached Mohali at around 2:45 am as roads were empty .After a rest of 2 hours ,we again started for Delhi at 4:30 am & reached at 9 am .In less than 24 hours ,we had a journey of 700 kms in zen including a 400 km hilly track .

2) In the last week of Jan 2005 ,I was going back alongwith my wife in the Santro Xing from Mohali to Delhi .We started at around 5 am to reach Delhi .As soon as I had crossed the Bankarpur bridge between zirakpur and Derabassi on national highway an SUV type vehicle started following me,putting up dippers and also tried to overtake my car many times alongwith signalling me to stop .Fearing for the safety especially of my wife I sped but unfortunately after 5 km there was the Dera bassi toll barrier .I immediately went to the leftmost corner booth of the barrier but the SUV came and hit my vehicle from the back door and then reversed and again hit nesr B pillar not once but twice in full public view .My car turned off and didnot start .A group of youngsters came out of vehicle hurling abuses and banging their screw drivers on the window panes of my car .Hearing this commotion and with a lady sitting with me ,the toll barrier staff and the passengers from a bus which had stopped for paying toll came out.The SUV was a bolero camper and its front suspension ball joint got broken due to impact of hitting my Santro and it was unable to move away .All the other hooligans ran away while the driver was caught up by toll staff .These people were the liquor contractor Ponty chadha's men and they had thought my vehicle to be smuggling liquor and they acted like law unto themselves .The police arrived and they wasted another 6 hours and then the Press reporters were called in and the liquor mafia had to pay damages.

These were the harrowing experiences which I had while on higwhay after or before daytime.
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