Traffic Jam on DG Expressway

Traffic-jam on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway at 9pm on 20-Feb-2012.
Reason: Vehicles parked (!) and getting parked on the express-way in front of Shiv Murti
From Radisson to Shiv Murti

Delhi Police which has become habitual of stopping Trucks on the express-way, went a step ahead on 20-Feb which was Mahashivratri. They blocked the service-lane and made devotees to park their vehicles on the main-expressway (on which vehicles are not even allowed to stop). Of the four-lanes, one lane was blocked for parked-vehicles, another by vehicles looking for parking and the third lane had slow-moving car drivers looking in the direction of Shiv Murti to see what is happening there.
This caused a big traffic jam on the express-way for no reason and ill-management of on-coming traffic at a time when there are very few vehicles on the expressway!

When would our roads get safer and smoother?

Why this Indian Drivers ji? Over-crowding Stop-line

We are habitual of honking (always pressing horns), changing lanes and many other such habits which are not sane driving. Foreigners fear riding in India and even Indians living abroad for sometime find it difficult to drive when they are back.

This series is an attempt to understand ‘Why we drive like this?’ We want your honest feedback. Please share your comments/views khulke (unabashed).

Third in the series is: Crisscrossing Lanes. Similar to Honking and Lane Indiscipline, all of us are both a victim and a culprit. Recently we added a Drive Video, How to Drive in Delhi, and the video takes a jig on our habit of over-crowding at a stop. Why do we make more lanes than marked at a stop-line? Most of us fill every single square cm of road space, as if lanes don’t matter, Why? Is it really helpful to get alongside others and completely fill the road? Do we get out faster this way or do we just make a mess when the lights go green?

We like to crowd every place and even the roads. We don’t like to leave any space vacant at a stop and take the first opportunity to get alongside the next vehicle. There will be 5-6 lines of cars and more 2-wheelers squeezed, in a 3-lane road! And when we drive-off, those who want to sprint-off like a racing start, honk on others who don’t (many of us honk even while waiting on a stop-line). Like criss-crossing lanes, when we drive 2/3-wheelers we are a step ahead. We zig-zag across other vehicles and sometimes even scratch them.

At railway crossings and roads with no dividers, we are worse. Many of us jump to the opposite lanes and cause traffic jams. And not to forget our strategy for left/right turns. We move to the middle lanes and block the traffic going straight and vice-versa! We’ll try to post pictures about these crossings, as they make for a lovely sight 😉

Why do we over-crowd at stop-lines? What goes in our minds when we over-crowd? Does it help us in any way? We want your comments khulke

Why this Indian Drivers ji? Criss-crossing Lanes

We are habitual of honking (always pressing horns), changing lanes and many other such habits which are not sane driving. Foreigners fear riding in India and even Indians living abroad for sometime find it difficult to drive when they are back.

This series is an attempt to understand ‘Why we drive like this?’ We want your honest feedback. Please share your comments/views khulke (unabashed).

Third in the series is: Crisscrossing Lanes. Similar to Honking and Lane Indiscipline, all of us are both a victim and a culprit. Recently we added a Drive Video, and the video can be embarrassing. Why do we drive like crazy on Delhi Roads? Most of us switch lanes as if there is no-one else on road, Why? Does this lane switching helps? What goes on in our mind when we crisscross lanes? 

Crisscrossing lanes seemingly comes naturally to us. 2-wheelers seem to be following a snake-path and many vehicles are dancing on roads. Entering onto a road, we will directly move to the fastest lane, without ever thinking about faster on-coming traffic (they resort to honking, but for no results). If someone stops ahead of us, instead of stopping, normally we will immediately switch to the right, causing a blockade. As noted earlier, 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers switch lanes almost immediately and without any warning!

Many a times we get frustrated and switch lanes. Getting stuck behind a slow vehicle in over-taking/fastest lanes, we switch to slower left-lanes. To avoid a slow vehicle suddenly moving in from left, we move to right. But many other times, we are simply impatient. Together Lane Indiscipline and Crisscrossing lanes are one of the biggest cause of accidents on Indian roads, whether minor or major (next only to impatience)!

There can be many reasons why we switch lanes, but do we reach faster? Can we avoid frequent lane changes? How does drivers in other countries drive faster without crisscrossing lanes? Does it help us in any way? We want your comments khulke

Why this Indian Drivers ji? No Lane Discipline

We are habitual of honking (always pressing horns), changing lanes and many other such habits which are not sane driving. Foreigners fear riding in India and even Indians living abroad for sometime find it difficult to drive when they are back.

This series is an attempt to understand ‘Why we drive like this?’ We want your honest feedback. Please share your comments/views khulke (unabashed).

Second in the series is: No Lane Discipline. In the first of the series we talked about Honking. Similar to Honking, all of us are both a victim and a culprit. Recently we add a Drive Video, and the video can be embarrassing. Why do we drive like crazy on Delhi Roads? Delhi has the fastest roads of all Indian metros, and we make a pressing case for the Traffic Police to reduce speeds! And I don’t understand, Why?

Seemingly lane discipline doesn’t come naturally to us. Most of the Driving Training Schools don’t stress on it (they also don’t teach ‘No Honking’). While the traffic police makes Lane grading, we simply don’t follow it. We will stick to the right-most lane and go left only at the intersection, where someone in the left lane is trying to go to the right (making a mess). Entering into a flyover, we will (over-smartly) go to the left-most lanes (if they are emptier) and then block all traffic to enter into the flyover. Many cars would be driving slowly in the fastest lanes and won’t even switch if someone wants to overtake who then overtakes from left (another traffic crime). The best are the 2-wheelers, most of them don’t seem to know if there are any lanes on roads!

Why don’t we maintain lane discipline? Why do we stick to fastest lane and don’t allow others to overtake? Is it some kind of ego or something else? Does it help us in any way? We want your comments khulke

Pile-up in Noida for Stationary Vehicle

Foggy Tuesday morning in Noida witnessed the year’s biggest pile-up in India. Around 25 vehicles were involved in the pile-up, which fortunately didn’t have any casualty. And this took place between 3AM-6AM. Worst, the administration & police doesn’t know the exact no. of vehicles involved in the pile-up

Fuuny part is, the vehicles didn’t collide all at once like pile-ups on highways outside India. Vehicles kept on crashing in the pile-up for about 3 hours! After that the stretch was closed for traffic, and traffic diverted on service-lane.

The cause of the pile-up is attibuted entirely to dense fog. However, questions remained unanswered. A truck was stationary on the highway and possibly broken-down. Cars rammed into the truck and the other cars in the pile-up. But there is no sign of ‘Hazard Lights’ working properly on the truck, leading to low-visibility of the truck. It took too long for the express-way authorities to take proper action to alert the drivers (3 hours is the duration of accidents and the truck was stationary even before that!) Also the express-way doesn’t seem to be properly lit. Considering the speeds on the express-way can reach 100 kph (60 mph), the importance of these concerns increases further.

Do we take pride in this? Your comments/suggestions are most welcome

Why this Indian Drivers ji?

We are habitual of honking (always pressing horns), changing lanes and many other such habits which are not sane driving. Foreigners fear riding in India and even Indians living abroad for sometime find it difficult to drive when they are back.

This is an attempt to understand ‘Why we drive like this?’ We want your honest feedback. Please share your comments/views khulke (unabashed).

In the first of the series is: Honking. Recently one of my college friends came back from US after 2 years. While driving down Delhi roads, he asked me why do we press so much horns? What is the mentality or what do we plan to achieve by pressing horns? He said, “I also used to press horns when I was in India, and now I don’t understand Why?

We are so habitual of honking, that we press horns even while waiting for traffic signal. I don’t understand what we could achieve by that. Those ahead of us don’t care to listen to horns, while these horns increase the stress levels on roads. They are also a nuisance in residential areas, tearing through the peaceful atmosphere. A fellow driver gave a fresh perspective, “we are actually ‘fighting’ by pressing horns”

Why do we press horns? What is going on in our minds when we press horns? Did we achieve the desired results? We want your comments khulke

Another accident due to slow-moving traffic

On Dec 7 at 12:40 pm an accident took place at Delhi-Gurgaon (DG) Expressway. Three vehicles were involved and created a small ruckus in non-peak hours.

A Tata Ace (small goods carrier) driving at slow speeds in the middle lanes of the main-carriageway, suddenly put on blinkers (hazard lights) and started to steer un-predictably. A Swift Dzire (compact sedan car) was behind and in order to avoid accident started to steer in the opposite direction. Tata Ace suddenly stopped and the Dzire also put on brakes to avoid it and just scrapped the rear of Tata Ace. A motor-cyclist on Bajaj Platina couldn’t keep control and clipped the rear right of Dzire and slipped and skidded. Luckily no one hit the motor-cyclists and since they were wearing helmets, they didn’t get head injuries.

On the face of it, the Dzire was a culprit for its multiple steering inputs which put the motor-cyclists in a vulnerable position. However, the real culprit was Tata Ace, which momentarily stopped in the middle of the highway in a fast moving lane. When enquired about why he stopped, the driver said “Sahab gas khatam ho gayi thi, abhi Cylinder switch kiya hai” (Sir, CNG got finished in one Cylinder, I just switched to another one).

The accident was not reported (this is usual in India where only severe accidents are reported). The errant driver of Tata Ace wasn’t challaned or punished. Tata Ace driver didn’t even care to look at what happened to the motor-cyclists. Luckily, due to a maintenance truck working on the track 100 m before the accident site, everyone had to slow down. Other-wise the accident could have had been fatal. But this had no bearing on the Tata Ace driver, and wouldn’t have had any bearing on such drivers who drive these vehicles at slow-speeds in the fast-lanes. They don’t think they have done any wrong and nor does the Police take any action against them. For the Police records, accidents only happen to due to speeding!

For the un-initiated, DG expressway has a main-carriageway for fast moving vehicles and service-lanes for the slow-moving vehicles, this however is not respected and everyone drives at main-carriageway, driving in slow speeds in the fastest lanes!

Comments welcome. Experiences with this small goods carriers (such as Tata Ace) are most welcome

I Take Pride, Do YOU?

There is a lot said about Indian drivers! We do a lot of things, which create a bad image about us and causes problems for our fellow drivers!

‘Take Pride’ (Garv Hai) is an initiative to inculcate the sense of pride in sane driving. It aims to do so by following:

  • Take Pride – Information drives
  • ‘Take Pride’ / ‘Garv Hai’ Stickers
  • ‘Take Pride’ / ‘Garv Hai’ Slogans
  • Driver training sessions
  • Partnering with Traffic Police and City Administration
  • Drives at Car/Bike Sales points