Who is responsible for Bangalore's apathetic traffic situation?

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?

BHPian On4Wheels recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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


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.

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.

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

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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