Driven round the bend

Individuals and issues that are making and faking news

Driven round the bend

The Supreme Court's directive asking the Centre to take action against trucks carrying iron rods that protrude from the rear and cause over 3,500 fatalities every year may not put a brake on the hazard, but it highlights the fact that Indian roads are the most dangerous place to be outside a war zone, mainly because, like 007, they offer a licence to kill. The key reason is that traffic rules are flouted with impunity. Here are Indian traffic rules as most drivers see them.

Using the right lane

Actually, most drivers do, even though they are supposed to drive on the left side of the road. The British gave us our traffic rules which stated that vehicle owners are to drive on the left side of the road, which is where most drivers start from before boredom, snarls and the sight of a cop inspire them to shift to the right lane, causing bigger jams. The rules are the same as followed by water flowing down a hillside: take the path of least resistance, and never move in a straight line. Indian drivers act like they have dual citizenship, using the left and right lanes as it suits them, regardless of the danger it poses to other drivers. It's a lot like our politics where the Left is often Right and the Right often gets Left.

The OBC syndrome

This refers to the fact that on Indian roads, pedestrians, cyclists and similar lesser beings are soft targets for car owners and drivers based on some irrational logic that roads were not intended for them and therefore they can be cast aside like flies. This only confirms that there is a caste system on Indian roads; the bigger the car, the higher the caste while others without vehicles are left to fate and the mercy of the gods, meaning those who have a red beacon and a siren that says VIP, Very Impatient Politician.

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