||[Oct. 16th, 2005|10:57 pm]
So, I've been meaning to write about the India Driving Experience. I didn't quite understand why it persisted until today.|
India roads can be described somewhere just short of a demolition derby. Cars, Trike taxies, motor bikes, regular bikes, cows, goats, roosters, pedestrians, etc all share the road with varying amounts of aggressiveness.
Lane markers are totally ignored. Staying on your side of the street is mostly optional. Hi-beams are a must at all hours. Honking is continuous (and required, since it seems mandatory to cut off people who are in your blind spot). There is an occasional traffic cop who is only slightly more effective than the less occasional traffic lights, which are (at best) suggestions.
Basicly, its pretty much chaos, controlled only when the traffic volume prevents forward progress.
My big revalation today was a sign: Obey Red Signal (Fine: Rs 200). In other words, blowing a red light (if the police bother to pay attention to you) is a whopping $5 fine (which its unlikely you'll be picked up anyway).
Drunk driving? Rs 500 (about $12).
For as much chaos as there is, I've only seen one accident (and it was minor -- a bike didn't quite stop fast enough). Of course, in the heavier traffic speeds are low enough that there'd be almost no damage ever anyway.