Always be prepared to expect the unexpected while driving on Indian roads.
One of the greatest joys of driving or riding on Indian roads is to psychologically and physically try to figure out what the driver or rider or pedestrian in front, behind or beside is planning to do next. In Incredible democratic India, as it is called, we not only enjoy the freedom of thought and speech, but also the freedom to drive however and wherever we want.
S.Khan stands testimony to this fact. Right or left, a forward or reverse, all that counts is our mood, the machine we own and its Horse Power and not the vehicle that’s ahead or behind or beside us.
The first lesson I learnt on road is not to stop on seeing anything red, lest the one trailing behind will crash into me. Nobody in India, not even the traffic police, expects anybody to stop or even slow down unless and until somebody wants to alight on their own risk. Thus, amber means get ready, foot on the accelerator and red is a signal to speed away.
Traffic lights give me a nightmare because of the ‘IFs’ and ‘BUTs’ that speed through my head and heart when I see them change from green to amber to red. The best example of Abilene paradox is seen at Zebra crossings where people collectively decide to cross, many a time along with the intellectually evolved cows and dogs too, when they really don’t want to.
The second lesson for responsible drivers would be to not mislead pedestrians and condemn them to death at a Zebra crossing by stopping the vehicle because the other motorists from all directions will just keep moving at breakneck speed. By the way, is there any people’s representative who understands that the sidewalk is meant for pedestrians and not hawkers?
After analysing a complex range of road issues armed with data of corruption, roads caving in and even disappearing after a drizzle, NHAI is busy with golden and silver quadrilaterals very well knowing that highways are the place where drivers learn the zigzag with ease. Heavy vehicle
containers and expert drivers on slow race drive in the center of a four/six lane indicating right and left thereby making sure no vehicle, big or small, costly or cheap, shiny or dusty inch past them sideways. Four heavy vehicles driving parallel isn’t a rare sight to see.
It teaches highway users the art of being patient no matter whatever the size of temptation is. The third lesson is to use honks instead of breaks or be prepared to wait at a signal more than you should as traffic signals are places where drivers will deliberate on which road to take.
As a result the one on the far right will try his luck turning left and vice versa. Worse, a one way sign is to be understood as “just speed the other way with the headlights on”. The fourth lesson is to learn to read minds instead of road rules.
Road accident statistics say that death is due to drunk driving is only a mere 1.5 per cent, that is 7,061 out of 4,64,674. Thanks to government run liquor shops, 500 meters away from national and state highways. Is there