Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hyderabad's Traffic's basic rule: Just Horn and Overtake

Somethings are so integral part of the system that everyone learns them irrespective of whether they are correct or not. I am talking about traffic in Hyderabad (may be in other cities too, not sure).

I had heard stories about how act of blowing horn was called as "Honking" in US and that it wasn't needed to do it at any time other than pointing someone their gross mistake. It was hard for me to believe so until I got a chance to drive in California.

As you drive the car the first temptation is to blow the horn as soon as you see some one near to your vehicle, at each an every corner of the road and also when you just want to rush past some one (overtake them). Over time I realized it was much easy to not bother thinking about "Honking" someone at any place. The traffic just moves without anyone 'signalling' anything with his vehicle's horn.

Come back to Hyderabad, the first few drives you just can't avoid cursing someone when he horns you just because he 'thinks' he need to inform you about his presence and to make sure you don't come on his way all of a sudden. The mindset is to think about what mistake you commited that some one is 'honking you'

Now even after we have lanes and directions marked on them, ppl hardly bother to go in the lane and try overtaking by shifting lanes appropriately. They just blow horn and want you to get aside from their way. This situation simply allows ppl to halt anywhere on the road and assume "kisi ko problem hogi to horn bajayega and then we will think about moving". Reminds me of how one of my colleage visiting from Mountain View was shocked to see cows walking on the road. Aren't we so used to the horn and go behaviour that a cow is nothing different/difficult for us to handle on the road. :)

It isn't hard to see why there is always a mess at the Hitech city Chauraha, every one just believes in horning and finding their way even when traffic signals ask them to stop. My colleage tells me that traffic is much more organized in Bangalore and Chennai compared to Hyderabad. May be its time traffic police gets little serious about issuing tickets (yes, they have started following the ticketing system of sending the challan to ur home, rather than asking instant payment).


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  2. While I was in hyderabad, I noticed that most of autoscars have posterior dents. I think they just try to nudge you from behind to get your attention. Honking is the norm in any Indian city and hyderabad is no exeception. We indians are worst behaved at roads.

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