Why is the traffic on Bangalore roads so unorganized? Have you ever thought about it? I am sure, each one of you would have taken a moment some or the other time to blame the *bad* drivers or infrastructure or may be even the traffic cops! If you think you are a perfect driver, think over again. The chances are more that your driving skills might have been Bangalored to an unknown devil within you!
Over the past couple of months, I have encountered a number of incidents and here is an excerpt of some of those. It was a bright morning on a saturday and I was waiting in my car for the traffic signal to turn green. There was less traffic and as usual I was on a strict routine to abide by traffic rules. A school van comes behind me and starts honking frantically. All this was happening when the traffic light was still in RED. For the first 2 honks, I chose not to respond and kept myself calm by looking at the traffic light. The driver of that van honked the horn again and shouted at me to move ahead. I pointed him to look at the red light and didn’t move an inch. Looks like the driver got really pissed off and started to honk again non-stop! I moved my vehicle only upon the green signal. Most of you may feel this incident to be funny, but it isn’t in reality. Well, my point here is to stick to traffic rules irrespective of traffic movement. I have observed many folks who tend to jump the signals when the traffic is less during the early mornings. Imagine a situation where in you jump the signal and all of a sudden a vehicle comes from some other side… You are not only putting yourself in danger but you are affecting others as well. At the same time please do convince yourself that honking horns upon the red light changing to amber or amber to green doesn’t help anyways. I still fail to understand why people honk unnecessarily when the traffic is about to move.
There was another incident where in I saw the green light and started moving my vehicle. All of a sudden a student, probably rushing for his tuition classes on a two wheeler comes in at an astonishing speed from the opposite direction by skipping the traffic signal. Distance was more or less about a meter or two between his 2 wheeler and my car! I had no other go but to apply brakes hard, otherwise it would have been a head on collision. This kid skids on his two wheeler and somehow manages to stop his vehicle without losing the control, there wasn’t a helmet on his head either. He comes close and starts yelling at me as if it was my mistake. I know for sure that it was his fault for having jumped the signal, yet he doesn’t want to accept the reality. At that point of time, my temper was just about to burst. Without indulging in any battle of words, I told him to stick to the traffic rules and drive safely. Here, I wouldn’t blame this kid. It is the sole responsibility of parents to teach their kids about traffic rules I feel. Buying a vehicle for your kid may be a good option for you, but you are unfortunately ruining your own kid’s future if you don’t teach them about traffic rules and safety norms.
It just doesn’t end there, many drivers cross the line into opposite lane and cause traffic jam at signals. Why would you want to do that? There is no respect/safety for the pedestrians either! People still tend to jump the signal even after the installation of those noisy sirens. I am glad that the Bangalore Traffic police have installed the tracking cameras across various junctions to capture traffic violations. There is a team of 40 people working at any given point of time to monitor such violations and they will be penalizing all those *bad* drivers. Think twice before opting to jump a traffic signal from now on. I can only wish the penalty becomes so hefty that no one should ever think of violating traffic rules. May be even the ticketing system where in an individual exceeding any 3 violations over a specified time should be rewarded with the cancellation of his/her driving license for life time. Come on folks, it needs to start within each us. Lets follow the driving ethics religiously.
Do you have anything to say about or have you noticed the problems caused due to “traffic signal” placed inappropriately? If yes..please reply.
Its got nothing to do with infrastructure. Bangalore drivers are idiots.
The never indicate, every left lane will have trucks, cars, wanting to turn right at the next signal. Of course you will find out only at the last minute. People (especially big trucks and buses) park at that point of road that is the thinnest. Every bus/truck thinks that right lane is best as soon as leaving stop. Don’t even ask about bikes.
Rahul Kumar says
yup i do agree that Bangalore has lost its charm, n no more the GARDEN CITY instead its polluted n crowded city……..i think the infrastructure which is still not planned……..n there r no strict restictions being made against building byelaws….n the metro whichz still d question…..n pity the ruleng govt. which receives no funds r support frm central.
A Good post, you seem to have captured all the trivial and major hitches while one is commuting- irrespective of whether one is in driving or not.
I do use the BMTC to commute to office and it is a hell of a time- seeing all kinds of vehicular movement and the chaos.
At times it becomes so deplorable that i wonder why people are not disciplined when it comes to following traffic rules. Is it to do with our genes or is it problem with basic grooming?
Implementing traffic management is one thing, imposing a penalty for offenders is another thing- besides all these, even the people should adhere to follow some rules, if this not done, what you faced enroute to your office will recur without complaints. You have captured it in your blog, perhaps to create an awareness among the readers, all that is fine- all said and done, where and how can we stop such behaviour.
You find the other person is at fault and when you try to put sense into their head, they become so abusive and speak in such a filthy language. hence one ends up to ignore and give in. that’s why traffic management is chaotic.
One should know that economic liberalisation will not lead to mental grooming.
i feel its not only Bangalore… just Indian Citizen is always lack on social responsibility..not only road ethics but travelling in trains, using public toilet… it actually comes back to self attitude of them…they just leave a life very selfishly
i amm making asignment for geting none of traffic ethics of pepole so reply…
its true tht people use to brake the rules…. but why do they do tht any reasons? some r having problms of penalty while some cities dont have signals…. enoughf to maintain trafik rules
Well Well. Punishment is the tool of the weak whereby say a Teacher starts using scale instead of his skills to really make their people learn. Yes, at times it’s needed when the learner/student knowingly ducks the rules.
I am sure more than 50% people commenting here ignored red signal atleast once (including me) despite being ardent believers in the system and that’s be becuase of any reason – improper signal (the signals on lodhi road, Delhi went red after being green for only 5 secs which is lost on the first 2 vehicles just getting off).
The admin system in India including traffic police (and then the hospitals, sanitation, water distribution, electricity) is yet to catch up with growth India has witnessed. I don’t think they need punishment either. The country needs strong leadership and sometimes at smaller levels and maybe blogs like these should result in some actionables from people like us.
BIG WORDS I know, but BIG ACTION comes from BIG THINKING instead of blaming everybody else.
This article is aimed in bringing awareness among people like what you have mentioned Sanjay. Thanks for your views.
I couldnt agree more to this post Mohan… its getting worst frombad with each passing day… only if we all can follow the rules and make it better
Hope is the word that makes us move!
Ditto, its the same story allover India. I almost quit driving after a girl hit my car (she too skipped signal). And you can imagine, what happens when a young girl gets hit even if it was her fault. Luckily she didnt get hurt. But even today I think twice before driving and I drive only if I have no other choice.
Don’t be so scared… If you can drive safely in India, you can drive anywhere else in the world! 😀
The problem seems worse when you return from abroad I guess. I used to drive all my life in India and returning after a 5 yr stay abroad, the traffic seemed crazy. It takes a little bit of time to get adjusted but then you do. They say you never forget how to drive or swim even if you have amnesia!
However a new trend is these vehicles moving in ‘Islands’. One large slow moving vehicle will stall all vehicles behind especially on narrow roads. This continues for 5-6 miles/km but no cops seem to be around to keep the traffic flowing. In my opinion that is a major cause of traffic bottlenecks.
Sowmya, population is the menace in our country. Well, to certain extent what you are saying is true, but all happens at the cost of ignorance of people who are hesitant to abide by rules. Like I have said before, strict punishment and strong enforcement will only lead us to the next level.
Seema Syed says
First of all, wish you a happy new year Mohan. Thanks for leaving caring msgs on my blog.
Very good take on Driving Ethics. I have experienced similar incidents too. I believe our Road Transport Authorities should tighten the issuance of driving license. Many who acquire licences they just dont know basic driving rules and ethics. In Germany, to acquire a driving license for car we need to take compulsarily some theoretical lessons whereby we are taught the traffic rules, signs and driving ethics, then we need to take an exam in theory. once u pass, we need to do compulsory 30 hours of driving classes and appear for exam. Even a minor mistake in the driving test fails u.
Thanks for the wishes Seema! Wish you and your family too a very happy new year 🙂
All I can do right now is to hope that those days aren’t too far!
Yes the traffic condition in Bangalore is pathetic…. there is no guarantee if you will reach the other side of the road safely even if your following the traffic signals…coz the others are not!! And there are few cab drivers that i have come across ….. who drive at rocket speed and dont care about any signals….. just accelerate accelerate!!
That is prevalent all over India! Bangalore is just more worse because of the infrastructure lacuna and easy ways to escape from the system even after violating rules.
Bangalore and Gurgaon share similar characteristics – commercial/Industry development far ahead of basic infra development, despite the fact that Gurgaon had the advantage of learning from Bangalore (or Bengaluru).
I spent 2 years in Bangalore during the start of current boom and can easily identify with the problems that existed and continue to exist.
Rogue taxiwallas, rules flouting nouveau riche in their Hondas, BMWs etc. Record traffic scene at any red signal for 2 minutes and you’ll see people from all strata flouting rules.
Only way is to improve ourselves and do something to pass the message to as many as possible.
Better civic sense AHOY!
I do agree with you. It also needs some stringent punishment to make people abide by the rules.
The punishment for not following the traffic rules is not very strict. More often than not, they get away by bribing the officials.
True… hope the change is just round the corner!
Nice Article Mohan :)!!
Thanku thanku 🙂
I completely agree with what you feel.
I have gotten into a verbal duel with someone who honked at me persistently, at a Red Light. The other guy actually got off the car and came to fight with me, by then the light had turned green, so I told him, unlike you I don’t break traffic rules, stopping at a Green is an offense, and scooted off, leaving him fuming 😉 .
That was a great reply. Hope such people learn from these.
Here is some addition to the article from my blog on traffic management:
It has become a faishon to talk about making a city Singapore by our politician and city mayors.Let the talks of Magic Boxes , flyovers, elevated roads, Metro, mono/tube rails be kept aside for a moment and concentrate on the following points which are not of long term nature and can be implemented with a minimum outlay of funds RIGHT NOW FROM TOMORROW ITSELF if the authorities concerned local body & Traffic Police are serious about bringing about a change.
1. Remove or shift all the bus stops and auto stands which are situated immediately after a turning or circle. These are main hindrance in free flow of traffic. Penalise those bus drivers and auto drivers who stop the buses/autos at these turnings and bus stops.
2. Distance between two bus stops should not be less than half a kilometer. At present, there are many bus stops which are less than 100 meters apart and buses are not able to pick up speed.
3. Make footpaths free of hawkers. Stone slab footpaths are uneven. They should be properly plastered to have an even surface.
4. Public or for that matter any body including government agencies like water board, Telecom,Electicty board, cable operators who dig the road or footpath must be made accountable to restore them back to original failing which heavy penalty should be imposed.
5. Slow moving vehicles like bullock cart, hand driven carts, three wheeler rickshaws, Tonga, etc should not be allowed within the city limits during peak hours.
6. Any body driving two wheelers on the footpath to go ahead in a traffic jam situation must be penalised or his/her vehicles should be impounded.
7. At railway crossings, there is a common tendency by two as well as four wheelers to block the right side of the road in order to go ahead as soon as the train passes. This practice results in blockage of traffic on both sides of the crossing. Public who are also well educated should understand this.
8. Potholes on any road should be immediately filled up as soon as information is received. Road inspectors should be made accountable for not attending to any pothole.
9. Superior quality paint should be used for zebra crossing and other road humps as the paints used at present become faint or invisible after a weeks time.
10. Glow signs should be put up at the starting of all road dividers.
11. Trafic police should stop ignoring those who are driving talking over cell phones while driving.
Wow.. that is a comprehensive list Mr. Ayyangar. Thanks for sharing it here.
“traffic on Bangalore roads so unorganized”….hmmm, am not sure!! or may be where I am staying the traffic condition looks somewhat better as compared to other cities where I have been. For me, the worst unorganized traffic that I have seen is of Pune.
Well, I used to think the problem is only with Bangaloreans. But looking at the response from comments across the country, it is a menace all over our country!
Its absolutely true that however educated be the person behind steering, becomes restless and looses his patience once he knows that the light is going to change from red to green any moment and therefore starts honking without a thought that its a futile exercise. Than there are other two wheeler executives with suit-tie on and mobile in their head go on to the footpath to move ahead but forget that they can be overtaken at the next signal!! so whats the use of such an hurry?
God save these breed.
We need not ask god to save. All it needs is a bit of common sense and awareness to abide by the traffic rules. To enforce this our cops should stick to the the hefty penalty else nothing will fall in line.
Thanks for your comment Mr. Ayyangar and a welcome to you here 🙂
Kochuthresiamma p j says
you are right. the incidents mentioed happen all the time on the roads all over india. only if every driver – of two, three and four wheelers -obeyed the road rules. why cant they understand that violating traffic rules can only be counter productive and slow down traffic?
even pedestrians can cause trouble. like you suggested, there should be cameras like they have abroad, and hefty fines.
i remember some twenty years ago i was booked by a cop in madras for jay walking! today, on the roads anyone can get away with anything.
The problem is that we have the cities grown in multiple folds over last decade and everyone is busy in their own daily routine, causing some violations here and there. It is time to wake up and fix that basic behavior in everyone to abide by the established rules.
shocking to see a school bus do that! then how will the new generation learn! glad to hear that blore has done initiatives to curb the violations 🙂
True… that was really bothering for me. Infact that is the reason why I decided not to move an inch to set an example for those kids.
I could write a whole book on this topic !! Being a lady behind the wheels makes it ten times worse in Bengaluru. I know I sound immodest, but I am a pretty decent driver, and the amount of abuses and dirty looks I have got makes my blood boil. At times, I am tempted to run over them all !!!! Grrrrr :-X
” It is the sole responsibility of parents to teach their kids about traffic rules I feel. ” .. So nice of you not to have told off the kid.
I know girl! everyone has a story to relate on this topic. There is a common myth that ladies are usually bad drivers. Well, the gender bias does happen when it comes to driving in our good’ol country 🙁 No wonder you are tempted to run over such folks 😀
Good post… just flitting by for the first time.
You’ll find a lot of empathizers for this topic surely.. one of them me… On many occasions I have faced similar situations when I refuse to budge until the light is green. On one such occasion, an elderly gentle(?)man even started hurling abuses at me, which mostly went on like ‘all these modern girls (I was wearing jeans!!!) have too much pride, not like our traditional Indian ladies’ etc…. ! Gosh!
Hey Aparna, welcome!
hmm, certainly he wasn’t a *Gentle*man for sure! The sheer behavior of that person says it all. I still fail to understand what the Jeans has got to do with *gene*s 🙂 Does dress code changes the behavior to become good drivers by any chance?
You have put all my thoughts into words. I am with you on the strict enforcement of penalties. If it doesn’t stop there, like you have mentioned revoking the defaulter’s DL is the best thing.
Yup.. I am all game for a movement on this 😉 Thanks for your comments priya.
Elaya Kumar S says
It is true and happening not only in Bangalore but throughout in India. In law we call it the theory of deterrence. As suggested by you, cancellation of licence after three violations is one of the ways. But most of all, inculcating in the young minds, that by committing a traffic violation, they are putting not only their life but the life of others also to risk, will go a long way in changing the behaviour. But primarily I am for strict punishment for traffic violators which alone will suit for changing the mentality of our people.
Thanks for your view Mr. Kumar. I still feel the enforcement should be stringent and there shouldn’t be any option for the vilators to bypass in a corrupt country like ours.
Vikas kashyap says
Hey mohan ….
This is not the problem with just bangalore … this is the case in entire india …
Total lack of discipline , total disregard to others …. along with the fact that u can get away doing anything .
How many cases havent we heard of a truck driver killing someone and just fleeing the scene ….
very very frustrating … i have become so pessimistic that … i dont see this situation changing in our lifetimes ..
Looking at the comments from people across India, this menace seem to exist all across India as you have mentioned rightly. There is a hope… let that hope sets in to reality asap 🙂
Infact, I respect Blr traffic scene after hvng seen that in Hyd 😛 Its worse!
Well, stringent measures would do what is required! Hw I wish all those so called traffic-police do their job properly 🙁
I agree it hs to start within us but there are ppl who need a whack on their bk to do their bit too!
Hyderabad wasn’t that bad when I visited last time (now it is history though, 7 years back!). I really loved the broader roads and not much traffic like namma Bengaluru by then. Sad to know that even Hyderabad is worse!
Totally agree with u dude.. on this one…
I hv still never got over the fear of driving 4 wheeler in bengaluru, although I got the car about 18 months back. And, come to think of it, I hv been driving 2-wheeler from past 10 years …. yet driving a 4-wheeler has been a challenge for me.. and still is.. 🙁
Hey Ramapriya! nice to have your comment here. Even I had the similar kind of fear in me sometime back. But now, i am very comfortable… fear not, go out and enjoy the driving in city traffic… it will be a great experience for sure!
Shrinidhi Hande says
I feel some sort of surprise gifts to those who follow all rules might motivate others to do the same. Right now, no one appreciates those following all the rules, and most of them who break the rules also get away free, directly making fun of those who cared to abide
Good thought, but the question is how feasible it is given the kind of bureaucrats we have in our system? I certainly would love to see that being implemented.
I can COMPLETELY relate to every inch of what you have written. My blood rush is so bad going throug this and even READING this 😉
I have had ENOUGH of this traffic nonsense…..:(((
cool down… 😉 you aren’t alone! As long as our cops let out law breakers for some quick tax free moolah, things like this are prone to happen repeatedly.
sm how the link in the above reply didnt come.. I am posting that link here
Hey smhow we both r writing abt same topic lately 😀 When I saw ur blog topic at 7:30 on sunday morning, I just jumped to read it. U hv pressed my sore point. U wont believe every morning is a battle. And the saddest part is that this battle is with the so called literate car drivers in this city. What an ego!!! Come on! People need to learn respecting others’ driving space. U cant just jump lanes and feel proud about it. I feel like yelling at them.. “Behave like civilized people!!”
Also for auto guys, I feel in case if they break signals, we who r sitting behind shud stop them. Atleast we can do our bit.. leave rest aside. Its time to behave like civilized city… Wake up bangalore, wake up!
btw.. u can also read I have changed and I hope to see that change around me.
Well said vineeta. I have tried convincing some of my cab drivers about following traffic rules, they do it for a day or two and they will be back to square one. Most of the drivers have gone past the era of listening to good advice. The only way to enforce the rules is by harsh punishment for violators!
It is the same story all over India as far as traffic is concerned ….we don’t respect rules and the rights of other.Only a very strict and hefty fine imposed on violation of traffic rules is the solution.
very true kavita! I hope that day is not too far.
i could no longer drive in india anymore.
from what i have seen..lucknow has the worst driving ethics from all places i have seen.
I have lived in bangalore for 3 months so frankly its not even half as bad.
Well shraddha, the corollary is “if a person can drive on indian roads, driving anywhere else on the earth would be too simple” 😀