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Driving in India
Traveling in India is an almost hallucinatory mixture of sound and sight. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable - and, when you are on the roads, extremely dangerous.
Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on some ancient text or on the position of the moon. In general the 12 rules of the Indian road code are:
The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.
The following Order of Precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order give way to: cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, jeeps, ox-carts, private cars, motorcycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles carrying goods, handcarts, bicycles carrying passenger(s), dogs, pedestrians.
All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat. This is the Indian driversí mantra.
Use of horn:
Cars (IV, 1, a-c): Short blasts indicate supremacy, i.e. in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians from path. Long blasts denote supplication, i.e. to oncoming truck, "I am going too fast to stop, so unless you slow down we shall both die". In extreme cases this may be accompanied by flashing of headlights. Single casual blast means "I have seen someone out of Indiaís 870 million people whom I recognize", "There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my windscreen)", or "I have not blown my horn for several minutes."
Trucks and buses (IV, 2, a): All horn signals have the same meaning, "I have a gross weight of 12.5 tons and have no intention of stopping, even if I could." This signal may be emphasized by the use of headlights.
Article IV remains subject to the provision of Order of Precedence in Article II above.
All manoeuvres, use of horn and evasive action shall be left until the last possible moment.
In the absence of seat belts (which there is), car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds. These should be kept fastened at all times.
Rights of Way: Traffic entering a road from the left has priority. So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle.
Lane discipline (VII, 1): All Indian traffic at all times and irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the centre of the road.
Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic islands in the middle of crossroads have no traffic management function. Any other impression should be ignored.
Overtaking is mandatory. Every moving vehicle is required to overtake every other moving vehicle, irrespective of whether it has just overtaken you. Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in the face of oncoming traffic, on blind bends, at junctions and in the middle of villages/city centers. No more than two
inches should be allowed between your vehicle and the one you are passing; one inch in the case of bicycles or pedestrians.
Nirvana may be obtained through the head-on crash.
Reversing: no longer applicable since no vehicle in India has a reverse gear.
The 10th incarnation of God was as an articulated tanker.
In order to make it from point A to point B, strict adherence must be paid to the rules of the road, irrelevant of the distance between points A and B. To truly understand this phenomenon you must experience it for your self. Driving is no longer a means of transportation, itís a fight of survival and road supremacy.
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Road safety, Road transport, Traffic law, Road traffic management, Headlight flashing, Roundabout, Traffic, Lane, Overtaking, Intersection, Driving in India
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