We, The Traffic Virgins!

I have often been asked which country would I like to be born in in my next life and my answer has always been, right here in India. Well, we do have our problems but who doesn't? Moreover, for me the positives far outweigh the negatives. Yes, I crib about so many things that are wrong but then at the end of the day it's home. Trust me there are places which have it so much worse. Of-course, that's no measure of how well we are doing but we are working on our drawbacks. In fact, I'm sure one day we'll tighten those loose ends as well. I do hope I live to see that day though.

Well, talking of loose ends and the things that are wrong with us, I'm reminded of our innate disrespect for traffic rules. Yes, somehow we have been hardwired to not follow any rules and the traffic ones top the list! Just last year when I was in Dusseldorf and had to wait for the man on the traffic light to turn green for crossing a virtually empty road, I realized how much deep rooted this anomaly was in me as well. You won't believe it but every cell in my body wanted to cross much against my educated senses! Well, I guess you can take the Indian out of India but not India out of the Indian. But I must say I'm still a lot better, at-least I consciously try to be so.

So, why am I writing about this today? Well, take a look for yourself. This was the scene while returning from office this evening. Now, we need to take a service road which is basically a two lane road, one lane each for either direction. But then we Indians can't wait, can we? God forbid we have to wait. Today there were three parallel lines in one direction because queuing is something we just don't like paying heed to.

And no this isn't the first time I have noticed this. It happens every single day, possibly many times a day. Somehow we just can't get ourselves to be patient enough. Somehow we just can't get ourselves to behave. Yes, instead we like treating the road as our own personal minion!

  1. Our bikes prefer footpaths and not roads.
  2. Waiting for the traffic signal to turn green is against our basic nature.
  3. We honk when there's really no need for it.
  4. We suddenly take right and left turns without indicating that we are going to do so.
  5. We overtake from the left. Yes, where did this come from!
  6. We may buy big cars but don't know how to drive them respectfully on roads.
  7. We use high beams. Yes, we like blinding drivers coming from the opposite direction.
  8. We cross roads from anywhere and at anytime. If we get hit in the process, well, we blame the unsuspecting car drivers or bike riders for that.
  9. Helmet, well, we rather get our heads smashed than wear a helmet.
  10. Speed-limit? We have never heard those words. Isn't it an oxymoron?
  11. Yellow traffic light for us means giving a full throttle.
  12. Zebra crossing. What in the world is that?
  13. We even have roads with no footpaths.
  14. Driving in the opposite direction in a lane with the headlights and hazard lights on, at times adjacent to the divider, is our idea of getting amusement parks right to our roads.

Yes, well, we are a unique nation of sorts. Most of it we don't do knowingly. But the sad part is not enough of us make the necessary efforts to correct it either. But maybe one day we will, at least I hope that we will. Until then getting stuck in traffic due to our idiocy will undoubtedly be a part and parcel of our daily lives.

Tell me what do you think about traffic rules? Do you follow them? And what do you think of people who treat the road and those traffic rules with disrespect? Go on tell me, I'd love to know!

Until next time.

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