Driv­ing nuts!

Al­ways be pre­pared to ex­pect the un­ex­pected while driv­ing on In­dian roads.

Alive - - News - by Dr. Elsa Ly­cias Joel

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.

Crazy driv­ing

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

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