Observations: The great T-junction dilemma in smaller towns

If incoming vehicle is a two wheeler, many times the riders just prefer to squeeze on the wrong side (left of my car) than correcting their course.

BHPian amol4184 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This is an observation slash rant that I have about T-junctions (TJ henceforth) in our towns. While it may not be so apparent in bigger cities with slightly better civic sense and driving etiquettes, in smaller towns like mine this is a menace and I have not found a solution to tackle these without getting into a honking competition and angry stares.

The area I live has TJs in abundance. Call it lack of infrastructure, poor town planning and in many cases encroachment by land owners on corners, many of the roads leading to TJs do not have dividers (not the painted lines, actual barriers). There is simply no space left to put any dividers and this is where the confusion occurs. I have not seen concept of "STOP" signs either.

I will explain with some diagrams below:

Scenario 1:

Pink Jeep wants to turn right at TJ. Green car wants to turn left (or right, doesn't matter). But the Jeep starts turning way ahead of TJ and ends up right in of front green car because of the trajectory Jeep took early on. Green car has to wait until Jeep finishes its turn end ends up correct lane.

Scenario 2:

Green car wants to turn right and per usual drifts slowly towards right side of the road and repeats the scenario #1 except from other side. The pink Jeep wants to turn right and stops middle of the turn because green car is in their lane.

I end up in both scenarios almost daily. Its frustrating.

  • If incoming vehicle is a two wheeler, many times the riders just prefer to squeeze on the wrong side (left of my car) than correcting their course.
  • If incoming vehicle is a car and I am on a bike, car drivers honk and push me off the road even if I am on the freaking right side of the road. Because hey, bigger = king of road even if it is an Alto.
  • If incoming vehicle is a car and I am also in a car: Panic maneuvers and surprised faces.

Imagine this on a busy narrow road and chaos it creates. One of the major reasons we used to have traffic jams in our calm locality otherwise. So much so that corporation installed dividers there. Roads now have even less space left than there originally was but I think it is a better trade-off.

However that has given birth to a new problem. Bikers and scooters visiting the shops on the streets and deciding to fight wrong side traffic than doing the right thing. They blatantly prefer turning on the spot to go back than following the road and taking U turn at right spot.

It feels like there is no way you can win this idiotic TJ battle.

P.S> Is the T-Junction right term? Here is my experience with Zomato/Amazon:

Zomato guy: "Sir kidhar aana hai? I'm here at xxxx" (Sir, where should I come?)

Me: "Haa, wahaan se straight aao and T-Junction se right" (Yes, come straight from there and at the T-Junction, take a right)

Zomato guy (at the TJ): "Sir idhar ek road left jata hai and ek right" (Sir, from here, one road goes left and one goes right)

Here's what BHPian denzdm had to say on the matter:

This is where circles are a great help. The cars when arriving at such a junction can take a round the circle before entering the lane / road they wish to take. However, this solution is only feasible if the road width is sufficient enough.

Here's what BHPian Jaguar had to say on the matter:

Thanks for bringing up this point. This is very common in Bangalore as well. And not just in T junctions, this happens in any junction, be it small by-lanes or major roads like the Outer Ring Road. Even the so-called educated folks do not have this basic traffic sense and if you honk they stare at you like you have committed an offense

In the case of two-wheelers, it doesn't have to be even a junction. Even if they want to visit a shop on the right side, they start drifting to the wrong side much earlier and end up driving towards oncoming traffic.

I often wonder if it is a lack of civic sense or lack of awareness that causes this behavior. We don't have proper driver training and most driving schools don't teach this. The minority of us have learned by observing good drivers, or due to our travels abroad. So can we do something to educate the people on traffic rules? Maybe a Team BHP Youtube channel with videos demonstrating proper driving etiquette?

Here's what BHPian tharian had to say on the matter:

Just reading the opening post made me annoyed, because that is something that happens every time I step out. Everyone thinks they are right, and there is no point explaining that cutting a straight line while joining a road is not the right way to do it, because as per them, they just took a normal turn and joined a road.

I have seen educated people in expensive cars do this in my locality, and I stop my car as close to their turning car as possible so they are forced to go wide.
Forget cabs and autorickshaws, because they don't know most of the road etiquette or rules.

As with everything else, the shortest way is the right way mentality rules.

Here's what BHPian RGK had to say on the matter:

Please visit Chennai and you will be amazed to observe all drivers come to the right lane of their road to make a right turn. It's awful that even new drivers engage in this behaviour with their instructors. I once came to a halt and instructed the teacher to bring the vehicle on the left before making the right turn.

The biggest issue is that no one comes to a complete stop at any intersection, so we tend to shift into lower gears and adjust as we go. Accidents will be reduced if we adhere to a complete stop protocol.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Power to the people