Friday, September 14, 2007

Compare and contrast

Bangalores traffic situation vis a vis Bombays traffic situation.

Bangalore: Rules and Signals are not obeyed - whether there are traffic lights or whether they are manned. There are no rules in Bangalore.
Bombay: Signals are generally obeyed, manned obeyed even better. Rules, well, far better obeyed here than any where in India.

Bangalore: Broke a rule? Argue with cop (or worse, some low level functionaries without any authority to fine) and get away with it. In any case he wont fine you.
Bombay: Be prepared to either be fined (he has the fine printer hung on his neck) or pay a bribe. Either way, a loss to rule breaker and a loss of time.

Bangalore: The sight of a cop makes you feel sorry.
Bombay: The sight of a cop makes you feel wary.

Bangalore: Intersections have small podiums for cops fitted with loudspeakers - so cops can be more humane. Over the horns and general din, guess who listens to what is blaring out from the loudspeakers, except the cows is anybodys guess.
Bombay: Small podiums removed for better mobility of the cop. Loudspeaker? What is that?

Bangalore: Getting caught is a rarity. Heard the cops whistle? Ignore and run.
Bombay: Watch out for the cops whistle. Check if it is for you; if it is better stop. If you dont stop, you will either be followed by another cop or you will be caught at the next intersection.

Bangalore traffic is messy and pathetic. Part of it is due to the cops. They barely fine anybody who jumps a signal. The department is short staffed, so they use "temps", who have no authority and are ignored with impunity. The traffic is so bad that stopping one motorist for a fine means another hundred will create chaos.

Solution: 100 Bombay cops on an "onsite" assignment (followed by training for Bangalore cops) at key intersections will do the trick for Bangalore in 3 months. The department will make enough money for a 100 police bikes as a bonus.

As you might have guessed, I am in Mumbai for a short while...


Mayuresh Gaikwad said...

Are you writing this from personal experience - i.e. breaking the rules and getting caught [:)]
Especially, getting caught at the next intersection is something non-Mumbaikars cannot believe at all !!!

Neelakantan said...


Anonymous said...

Mumbai cops - yeah, most likely u will get caught if u make a run for it, if u r unlucky, u will get caught and whacked right there! Dont ask me about human rights violation but it seems to work well with unruly taxis and autos. Having lived in Mumbai and Chennai, I know what a big difference having a sober lot of auto drivers can do to your life!

Parag said...

true for Chennai as well...crossing the signal atleast 4-5 seconds after it becomes red is the norm. on top of that the yellow phase also lasts for 4 seconds...driving on the wrong side of the road is considered absolutely fine...and what beats me...people never take right turns at proper right angles. they feel the need to start slinking into the opp traffic lane and take the turn right at the corner...all for saving those precious few seconds...

but the volume of traffic is so much lesser than Mumbai it is still a relief! :-)

Adhiraj Joglekar said...

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

This site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

To watch the videos, interested readers may visit:

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks