I’m still recovering from my latest misadventure on two wheels. What was supposed to be a pleasant ride to meet random people, turned into a 2500 km whirlwind of melted balls, broken fingers and sore buttcheeks. I did Hyderabad – Pune – Mumbai – Pune – Bangalore – Hyderabad in about a week, stayed with friends and strangers, dined with friends and strangers, and rode alone.
I went through some of the most intense highways in India. The deathly Hyderabad – Solapur road, the beautiful Pune – Mumbai Old Highway, the incredibly boring Pune – Bangalore stretch, and the amazing Bangalore – Hyderabad blacktop, plus a lot of city riding. All through the week I couldn’t help but notice some really simple things that we could do to make Indian roads much more safer and much less frustrating, and here’s a compilation of 6 of those that I think we must consider.
There’s no easier way to dam this giant river of insanity than to start at the start. In school we are taught about the rules of the road, how we should stay on the left and shit, but somehow they never go into detail, at least not as much as they do with Mathematics.
I can’t think of any situation where being able to find the log to the base 10 of a 24 digit number will save your life, but the most rudimentary knowledge of road sense and etiquette certainly will.
Teach children the basics of driving and riding from the start, and the easiest way to do this is to let them go bat shit on video games. I’ve learned everything about what NOT to do on the road by playing GTA San Andreas and Road Rash and Midtown Madness, and there’s nothing like virtual reality to guide you into the real world.
Many people distort the usefulness of video games, saying it promotes bad driving and rash behavior. Well sure it does, if you think with your dick. Dick thinkers will always create problems, whether they like games or not. If anything, being able rub their manhood on something that doesn’t exist is awesome as far as venting sexual frustrations go.
The most important thing to be taught to kids is consideration, the fact that the road doesn’t belong to you. The most basic reason why Indians seem so pissed off on the road, is because of everything else that happens off the road. India is a frustrating place to be. Corruption, scams, reservations and everything else that defines the Hindustani experience means that we have a constant fear of someone conning us, someone taking advantage of us, someone making us feel insignificant, and that fear makes is one of the reasons why an extremely nice race of humans become giant assholes as soon as they hit the road.
2. Imprison wrong side drivers
I can’t stress enough how important this is. Wrong side drivers in India are the biggest and most dangerous element of this entire orgy of buttfuckingness that we call our roads. There’s not one single place in this entire country where it’s not commonplace to find these dick farts waltzing towards you at full speed, flashing their headlights, happily gunning towards certain death for themselves and for you.
Take a look at this video below and tell me if that auto driver deserves to be repeatedly sodomized in jail or not. To save a few rupees in fuel by not taking a U-turn a few hundred meters ahead, these mega retards completely fuck up the entire experience of riding on our roads.
For the most part, I like truck drivers. They are far better than the average bus/taxi driver out there, primarily because it’s pretty hard to quickly change the direction of a truck, or overspeed in one. However, when driven like a dick, trucks are like giant death machines capable of taking out a whole marriage party, if they please.
It’s not surprising then to feel my nuts pushing up my throat every time I see a 18 wheeler coming towards me on the wrong side of the highway.
In each and every case, wrong side driving/riding can be eliminated if only people are more considerate and in less of a hurry, but just to make things easier for them a bit, let’s make sure anyone caught on the side that doesn’t belong to them gets free food and stay at the nearest Police station.
3. Fine random stoppers
Just a few days back, I was coming back from the Honda RevFuck, making way through the insane Hyderabad traffic in my car. A bus driver had his nose right up my buttcrack, and I was trying to keep safe distance from a car upfront, while staying in the middle lane. As always happens, a taxi came and occupied that safe distance, but it’s what it did afterwards that blew my mind.
It stopped to pick up customers.
Picture my face. My car is just days old, so I’m already a very edgy driver. On top of that, there was that motherfucking bus trying its best to rape my ass. And now this guy stops in the middle of the road, directly ahead of me, while I’m doing 50 kmph.
There was no time to lose.
If I had braked, the bus would’ve ploughed me like a bitch. There was people jaywalking in the left lane, so I couldn’t run over them either. And there was fast-moving traffic in the right lane. I did the only thing I could.
I made a sharp right turn, and probably avoided the taxi, and the traffic on my right, by millimeters.
I’m so tired of these jackasses driving like there are designated parking spots in the middle of the highway. If I have to stop somewhere, I try to find the farthest point away from the road possible, even if I end up halfway down the jungle. With these butt sniffers, the logic appears to be “Me see shiny thing, me stahp“.
4. Remove speed breakers and blockades
We, as a country, have to sit down and discuss our psycho-sexual fixation with speed-breakers. It’s way past time, and something needs to be done about this shit.
The weirdest part about speed-bumps is that I have never seen anyone make them, they just spawn like an alien progeny, overnight. I also have never met someone who likes speed breakers. Everybody hates them, and yet there they are, everywhere around us.
So if no one likes them and no one makes them, why do we have so many of them?
I’ve been living in Hyderabad for some 6 months now, and the speed-bump virus has spread here like no other place. My office is barely a kilometer from my house, and I have to go over 13 humps to get there. That’s fucking insane! The worst part is that ALL of these bumps are unmarked, shoddily made, and impossible to see.
This other day I was driving around in my car, and there was an asshole of a Polo following me. I was in a tiny street, so doing about 10 kmph, and this dude just keeps honking and shoving himself onto me. While I was distracted by his buttholiness, there was a perfectly hidden speed bump right in front of me, which I never saw.
Blood hell what just happened? I looked back in my mirror and saw the Polo’s front bumper kiss that giant cemented bump and just bend inward! I did not know if I should be happy or not. Luckily my car faced no damage, but this menace needs to be controlled.
Same goes for these barricades that you see everywhere, be it highways or city streets. The funniest/saddest part is that these instruments from hell are put there by traffic police! Leave it to the men in white to fuck up the very thing they are supposed to protect: road safety.
Why is it unsafe to have random objects in the middle of the highway? Well because you might bump into them! Driving/riding is NOT a reactionary reflex, it’s done proactively, kinda like predicting the future. When you are on a highway, you expect to go fast. Everyone around you also goes fast, because that’s the whole point of a highway.
But then you make people slow down suddenly, and they don’t expect that. All you need a slight smidgen of bad luck and a little loss of concentration, and behold, you have concocted the perfect potion for an epic spell of disaster.
The biggest problem with removal of bumps and barricades is fear, fear that people would start rally-racing around city streets and blood will flow on the roads like in that scene from The Shining. I agree with this fear, but only up to a reasonable point.
You want to give birth to speed breakers? You better make sure they are standard design/size, properly marked with reflective paint, with boards announcing their presence on both sides. Barricades on the other hand, make no sense to me at all. They don’t make people slow down, but just momentarily venture into the wrong side of the road. I hate barricades even more because I associate them with asshole Police officers who rob people in broad daylight.
What’s the use of living in a country where you can’t even drive a supercar half a kilometer away from the showroom without wedging yourself up on some tiny mountain of concrete and asphalt?
5. Speed limit on right lane
I see a lot of speed limits on our highways, and I have made no secret of the fact that I don’t give a shit about any of those. Speed Limits in India are like iTunes Terms and Conditions, we should read both, they are important, but somehow all we end up doing is say “I Agree”, and then just do whatever the hell we want to anyway.
However, why there is no speed limit on the right most lane, the fastest lane? By speed limit I don’t mean the fastest you can go, but the SLOWEST.
One of the first rules about driving that we are taught in school, is to never overtake from the left hand side, but out in the real world, you end up doing it about 10 times per kilometer. Why? Slow moving traffic in the right lane.
It’s a new day, a new start, I’ll not break ANY traffic rule today!
*5 minutes later*
Fuck this shit.
That’s basically what happens with me almost everyday. I would be out there, trying my best to be a good boy, riding nicely in the right lane, giving everyone space, indicating and what not. Suddenly, this centipede of a tractor with 10 trolleys filled with sugarcane attached to it comes crashing through the divider, and starts wiggling around in the right lane. I try my best to resist, but I can’t fucking ride for the whole day at 20 kmph!
So I duck left, overtake, go back to right lane, give the middle finger to the driver, only to find his friend right in front of me again.
I understand why trucks don’t always stay in the left-most lane. Biggest reason is the dickish random stoppers, who occupy most of the usable space on the left side of any road. Trucks are big, all they want to do is go straight. Also, there are sometimes low hanging trees on the left, so trucks go right to avoid hitting them. Fair enough. On 2 lane roads, there isn’t much of a choice, on 4 lanes roads also I can’t complain much, but when you have a giant 8 lane expressway to the Mars in front of you, why do you still stick to the right lane motherfuckers?
You don’t want to go extreme left, as you ideally should, fine! Drive in the middle! I don’t understand this constant dance that these truck drivers do, pulling out into the right lane at 40 kmph, blocking everybody with their giant ass for no particular reason.
One of the most frustrating situations you can get into, is if you find yourself in the middle of a truck race. Trucks, as you might know ladies and gentlemen, top out at roughly 60 kmph. Their races look like a snail fighting really hard to stay ahead of a tortoise, with no space for the hare to go through them.
More often than not tough, it’s not just trucks, but cars and buses too that find themselves in lanes they don’t belong in. I don’t understand the logic behind this fuckery, you really think you are safer in the lane where you have the fastest traffic? All they end up doing is destroy the entire order of traffic for everyone, and converting what should be a pleasant ride to your home, into a nightmare of broken rules and bruised egos.
6. Speed limiters on trucks and buses
I cannot stress this enough, especially for these so-called “luxury” buses. Trucks don’t generally speed like shit, unless they are empty, and racing someone, in which case they are like giant national death carriers. Check out this video to see what I mean.
Yes, that’s fucking insane, and something we see almost everyday.
Buses on the other hand, are far more dangerous. The multi-axle death machines are not filled with hay, or boxes of cookies, or suicidal Royal Enfields, they are filled with people. Live, undead, breathing people. Notice ANY of these Neeta or VRL or whatever Volvos driving around anywhere, and the first thought that comes to you mind is Holy Shit.
Ever been followed by one of these beauties? First off, they’ll burn holes straight through your retinas with their 20 or so headlights, all borrowed straight from the nearest cricket stadium. Second, they’ll follow you with only nanometers of distance, ensuring that even though you can’t see whit of what’s happening up front, you’ll still keep the pedal to the metal.
A friend of mine lost his entire family after a renegade bus hit his Honda City from behind. I saw that car at the Police station, and you could no longer tell that it was a City, it was compressed to a size smaller than that of a Nano, without a rear seat.
75 kmph sounds good enough for both trucks and buses to me, which should also help keep them in the middle lane and away from any large explosions that they might cause.
7. Ban high beams
It’s time we admitted that Indians are not responsible enough to handle these high power blinding instruments, and ban them completely from every fucking vehicle. Also ban these aux lights, and fog lights, and basically anything apart from those 2 low-beam bulbs up front.
Riding in India at night is always a near-death experience. You can’t see shit, the guy in front of you can’t see shit, everybody can’t see shit, but still we do more speeds than we dare do in day. I don’t understand the mentality, or the level of stupidity it takes to do this, but we are fucking champions at this thing.
In the more “educated” places like Mumbai or Bangalore, if you see someone doing high-beams, you give them some of your own high beam, and they lower their own, generally. But come to Andhra, Bihar, MP, or UP, and you get nothing in return for showing them what they are doing to you! It’s like they have no idea their cars have a lever that can make life easier for everybody around them, or maybe they have the idea, but they couldn’t give a shit.
High beams are especially a problem with trucks and buses, for which there seems to be no standard number or type of lights that they can fix. Bus and truck drivers already sit so fucking high on the road, I don’t really understand why they need to convert their vehicle into a bloody Christmas tree of death and misery. Just because you have a 20 foot vehicle doesn’t mean you need to cover each centimeter of it in epileptic lights mate.
But surprisingly, the most irritating lights on the roads nowadays for me are from scooties! Activas, Jupiters, Peps, all of them seem to have completely misaligned lights, with their low beams like high beams, and high beams pointing to the stars. Why? Who the fuck knows.
The easiest way to solve this problem would be to properly illuminate our roads with street lights, but in an article where I’m trying to implore the public to follow the basic rules of decency, I think it’s a rather stupid move to expect them to be that intelligent.
By the way if everybody had only low beams, nobody would be able to overspeed at night!
8. More Police cars and strict implementation
All of the above mentioned points are pointless if Indian traffic police decides to remain the Number 1 cause of all our traffic problems.
I sometimes think about how different a life it is for a Policeman and an Army guy. You get instant respect for a soldier, and instant contempt for an inspector. I don’t completely understand why that is so, but I think part of the reason is that being a law enforcement officer is a thankless, low-paying, high risk job that ends up giving stupid people unimaginable power over their intelligent counterparts.
We need to bring a change here, make it a matter of pride to be Police. As idiotic as nationalism and patriotism may be, they work quite well with the Army, Air Force and the Navy. Why not give it a try with the Police too?
When you approach a Police Officer, trying to remember how much money you are carrying in your wallet should not be the first thought in your head.
Indian highways are more or less unmanned. You could drive around GTA style, blowing up cars, murdering people, and I think it’ll take them a few good days to catch up with you. Not only do we need more visible Police all over the place, we need them to actually do shit and not just con people out for their Friday chicken and beer parties.
This would be probably the most difficult thing to achieve, because you are talking about changing the mindset of an entire nation! But you won’t get anywhere if you don’t even try.
I’ve realized over the past few months that the only reason I write is so that my brain doesn’t explode with the frustration of being an Indian road user. The only reason I’m able to put a helmet on everyday is because I know if some stupid shit happens with me, I’ll have new stuff to write about!
However, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give to not be this ranty, irritable, childish moron who can’t seem to find the good in anything. I don’t enjoy these anger filled ragegasms, and I’m sure neither do you.
Or maybe not.