Wednesday, October 10, 2007

driving in noida - Part 2

In case you have missed my previous post, you can take a look at it here.

Recently, it seems that the number of vehicles in noida has doubled. Specially the number of rickshaws and cycles. And if I am driving my car, i am doomed.

The choice is always between either kill someone or get killed. So if i drive a car, i am safe but other people may get hurt by it and i might land in trouble. On the other hand, if i ride my bike, i am not safe at all. And Other cars and specially busses might run over me and that might be the end of me.

The problem is that there is complete chaos on the roads. The traffic police try their best to control the traffic at red lights, but they don't seem to do a good job. And the road between two traffic lights is a mess. In noida, the red lights seem to come every 1 km. So after every 1 km, you have to relax for 2 minutes. And that adds to the frustration of people.

The cycles and rickshaws are the best. They move in clusters and in the center of the road, preventing the fast moving traffic to go ahead. Also all cycles and rickshaws do not have to look behind while turning. Neither do they understand signals (left/right turn indicators, or red lights). And they could squeeze in between the narrowest gaps between cars and rickshaws. Not caring if they scrape a car or a bike in the process. Ofcourse, they dont have anything to lose.

And then there are busses and tampos, which would stop in the middle of the road to load and unload passengers, not caring about the queue of vehicles piling and honking after them.

And the most unique feature of the roads in noida is the abundance of stray cattle and bullock carts. A friend of mine was once held behind 2 bullock carts racing with each other. He and ofcourse people behind him had to move at the pace of the bullock carts for about 30 minutes until the bullock carts reached their destination and one of them was declared winner. And there are cases where cows and buffaloes cross roads in a queue and hold up traffic.

The point i think is that no one cares. All want to move ahead, not caring if they are the cause of a traffic jam. There was a case once when i was at a red light held in a traffic jam - where buses and cars and rickshaws have just moved in the center of the road and other people were unable to move. I was just sitting and waiting for the jam to clear up, letting people ahead of me move more into the jam, when suddenly this maruti comes from the left and plunges in between the jam and my car. And when i honk at him, he shows his big eyes to me - as if i have committed the most terrible crime till date. Ofcourse, i had to wait till the car ahead of his car moved and he moved.

What do people get out of such abrupt action? More mess and more jams.

And then i remember this case in delhi, where a lady was hit by some other vehicle and she parked her vehicle in the center of the road blocking up the traffic and the cops surveying at leisure and getting all the details of the mishap from her while people waited in queue behind her.

And a similar incident in noida, just near my house where a maruti banged into a truck. No one was hurt. And from where i passed by, i could see that neither the car nor the truck was much damaged. But still the two vehicles were in the middle of the road and there was a big traffic jam behind it while the cops tried to find the cause and process of the accident at their leisure.

I think, i have been ranting too much. But the situation has gone from bad to worse. Maybe the situation was as bad earlier, but i did not face the peak traffic those days, cause i used to go early and come back late. But now, going on time and coming back on time matters. So...

I still love my bike and the way she could move in and out of such traffic.

2 comments: said...

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

This site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

To watch the videos, interested readers may visit:

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks

Jithin R. J. said...

i live in bangalore where u have one of the wildest traffic of the whole world..there are no bullock cart races but the taxi drivers and bus drivers are the most indisciplinary of the lot. Although roads are quite wide here everyone is fighting for a space..the vehicle population is beyond imagination..there is nothing like lane-traffic(even cyclists zoom through the middle of roads)..the noise from autos and some buses are unbearable and u will be deaf if u are walking through the banks of the road...nice post..