Ae bhai jara dekh kar chalo… Be Safe while on road

Ae bhai jara dekh kar chalo, aage hi nahi, peeche bhi, upper hi…., oyeee, no need for upper and neeche. This time I am not going to cover any place, or road. Agenda for this post is “Safety First”.

Atul commented on India Roads and driving habits in his “Rajasthan blog”. It’s true that there are a lot of improvements in the infrastructure but what about the change in our driving habits?. During my recent visit to Ghaziabad, I travelled a lot in 15 days, every day I was on the road and travelling Delhi and many parts of western Uttar Pradesh for family visits. Roads have improved, you can reach Moradabad in 2.5 hours from Ghaziabad, but how safe these 2.5 hours are?During my Madurai/Rameshwaram/Kanyakumari visit, NH-4 Kashmir to KanyaKumari was fabulous, driver was driving constantly on 120+, but was that safe?

Questions to my fellow readers and authors:
– How many people wear seat belts while driving (except Delhi/Noida).
– How many people sitting next to driver wear seat belt?

Drive Safe

Drive Safe

And the biggest question is, how many people force their children to sit at the back seats with seat belts; forget about child safety seats, sounds too American, but if you have one, use it.

Safety First: Guys, please wear seat belts while you drive anytime and force your fellow passenger as well. Always force your kids to sit at back with seat belts, if they don’t want to sit alone, try to convince your spouse to sit with them for some time. Child safety seats are the best safety item, but it sounds too American, if you have one, use it.

Speeding thrills but kills: We all know this. It’s a pleasure to drive on Indian roads now with nice cars we have, power steering, power brakes. But we need to keep an eye on our speedometer. Your speed sometime disturbs other drivers on the road as well. How much uncomfortable you feel when someone tailgates you and you do not find space to let the other car pass. I wonder if Ford Fiesta can reach 160 KMPH, can someone answer?

Driving habits: Indian highways are getting better, 2 lane highways are getting converted to 4-6 lane highways. But how many people know the lane discipline? Do we drive in single lane or in 2 lanes – occupying middle and right most lane majority of the time? Do you use indicator while changing lanes (I know our vehicles are (AC vehicle, No hand signal) or see blind spot (sounds American too)? Think about it, and try to change your habit, you will bring lot of safety for yourself and other people on the road.

Care for your head

Care for your head

Hey, how do you do during traffic jams and on railway crossings? Do you follow the car in front of you who is zooming from right and try to form another lane beating other vehicles on left (mostly trucks in this case) or do you quietly follow the lane you are driving?

I was travelling to Bareilly from Moradabad, distance is about 80 KM, highway is nice but with 5 railway crossings. I was lucky to pass 2 of them without any stop, 3rd one took me 55 minutes and 4th one took 40 minutes to cross. Reason, I stopped my car in the lane I was driving and watching people zooming from right, left, sidewalks, everywhere, not just the cars but state transport buses as well. Once the train got passed, I am not sure whether my car was moving or not, but after 30 minutes, I was able to see railway line men getting ready to close down the crossing again for another train. Same story is during traffic jams. So, guys, please wait patiently, be in your lane, don’t try to rush from your right or left, otherwise you will also be contributing to the traffic jam.

Drive Safe

Drive Safe

I thought of writing lot of things, but I do not have right words, we experience these things when we are on road, I should have a video for it. Long back I read in one of the article that your child observes your driving, they adopt the same driving habits as yours, so, be careful.

So, keeping safety in your mind:

Wear seat belts and make sure your fellow passengers and children are doing the same.
Drive in controlled speed and watch for stranded trucks/tractors on the road.
Drive in 1 lane at a time and use indicator while changing lanes.
Read the slogans written on trucks – Use dipper @ night.
Do not contribute to traffic jam on road or railway crossings, it might take a little longer you to pass, but will be a lot convenient to you and for others.
Do take enough rest while driving, 22 hours in a stretch should be banned, is someone listening?
Motorcycle riders, Bullet riders, drive on your left.
Bangalore drivers, do not compete with BMTC buses.

Enjoy your drive!!!


  • Atul says:

    Upanshu, Good one, I completely agree with you. IMO It will take time to develop the highway driving culture…driving etiquettes are something which should be well written and enforced and should be asked in the licence exam…but again RTO exams in India can be a joke sometime. I know some states like Himanchal etc strictly obey these rules and their test is really hard to clear. Also highway patrol is something which is completely missing in Indian highways…you never see a cop monitoring the traffic…Once people start getting fined for not wearing a seat belt, or driving on the wrong side, or walking their cows and sheep on the highway, things may drastically improve.

  • Thanks Atul. As far as I know, Bangalore also has strict rules in place for license.

    Highway patrol and other things are there but most of them you can find near the cities.

  • testrahul says:

    “Questions to my fellow readers and authors:
    – How many people wear seat belts while driving (except Delhi/Noida).
    – How many people sitting next to driver wear seat belt?”

    ## I have an interesting observation. I stay at Indirapuram. Each time I travel in a cab, immediately after crossing Ghazipur(UP border) the driver will get rid of the seat belt. Poor traffic administration in Ghaziabad is probably the culprit. In Delhi one would hesitate not to wera seat belt.

    Another disturbing element I see everywhere in NCR is the use of high beams. It is often so inconvenient. But, we tend to have little awareness.

    I do share the opinion that travelling through highways is just not safe however exciting it might be. Because of this reason, I tend to avail trains as much as possible.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Good one Upanshu. Your trade mark the witty style of writing is there (in the title) but this time it is with serious connotation and reminders.

  • Thanks Rahul, Manish.

    True, journey by train is very safe, but be careful when you drive on road.
    Cab drivers and other drivers have this tendency to put on the belt as soon as they reach Delhi and remove the belt while coming back.

    High beam, everybody drives their car on high beam in India, I do not know how to stop except Ghaziabad / Delhi police painting the headlights from top.

  • nandanjha says:

    Glad that someone wrote this.

    Upanshu – 22 hours was a big mistake :-), I think my home-sickness gene just got out of control.

    I think the transport eco-system is developing at an alarming rate, and during this development all the pieces of the eco-system are not able to keep pace with each other. So while Agar-Kanpur-Allahabad has suddenly become a super-quality well-engineered 4 lane road, the signages, awareness, barriers, shoulders etc is yet to catch up. Frankly, while going at 120-130 KMPH between Etawah and Kanpur, when I find a bullock card coming on wrong carriage way towards me and that too in the high-speed lane, I do not blame him. He probably doesn’t know that he can’t use the road in that particular way. Give him some more time and he would be there.

    While I am fine with that bullock-cart guy, its really a hard time to stop yourself from yelling at urban-educated-and-what-not people who would break the lane. Indirapuram, a sub-urb of Delhi, is connected to Noida (another sub-urb) through a constricted under-pass and its a circus there every morning. For past few weeks, because of some interest shown by administration, things are much better but its really so sad to see those motor-cycle-junkies cutting every possible corner and cars wanting to squeeze their way in.

    Things take a while to stabilize and we are the fortunate/unfortunate ones who are in the middle of this big change. :-)

    I would add to the list
    – do not drive in night, unless you do not have any other option. Always leave very early in the morning if you are want to make the most of the day.

  • Thanks a lot Ghumakkar for republishing this post. Please drive safe during this holiday season and always.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Upanshu,

    My favourite subject and I want to rant!

    I have some tips to offer:

    1. When someone tailgates me, I brake just enough so that my brake lights come on – the guy backs off

    2. Car behind me with has high beam, i let him come up, then go behind and turn my high beams on – 95% of clowns on the road do not know that they have high beam on

    3. Incoming car on single road with no divider coming with high beam, i turn high beam on suddenly and drive towards the car – it is fun but could turn tricky

    4. Car behind is honking for no reason, let the car come ahead and then I honk the crap out of him – the guy will not use the horn again

    5. Stay clear of cars with HR plates and specifically HR26 cars they are the biggest jokers on the road. You see a car crazily weaving in and out, chances are 98% that it will be a HR26 car

    6. Look out for jokers who make left from side roads into main roads without even a glance

    7. We believe in looking at mirrors when turning you need to turn your neck. That is why Indians take years to get driving licenses abroad i know of several hilarious episodes encountered by friends abroad when getting tested

    8. I love to harass call centre cabs I am in middle lane and see a rampaging cab coming from behind weaving, i go to left lane, speed up to come abreast with a car in the middle lane and hold up the cab behind – priceless

    8. There are few more things but will not be politically correct or Avtarji might take umbrage!

    It is our culture where the mother will sit in the front seat with the infant in her lap. You could be jailed in US and probably strip/cavity searched for doing that! Or the proud papa having the child between him and the steering wheel and driving.

    I can just go on and on my favourite topic!

    Thanks for bringing this up.

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