Driving Discipline… Is US any different than India?

Something that has really fascinated me about the US is the driving discipline. People follow lane rules, follow speed limits, yield to pedestrians, etc… etc… Most of this I haven’t seen in India.

But when I look closer, all of these are happening here not really because people here are really disciplined. Its because their infrastructure is letting them be disciplined. Here the density of vehicle population per square meter on the road is a lot less than the density of population in India. When people on American roads go through a little bit of additional stress with respect to traffic, they just go crazy. Suddenly all the disciplined drivers have disappeared. It’s a free for all situation.

Today I just went for some monthly vegetables and groceries shopping to Costco which is like 10 miles away from my apartment. As usual the road authorities have started road work on the Interstate that takes me to Costco (They do this all through the year… Just keep doing road work… which is good.. nothing to complain)… A three lane traffic was suddenly forced into a single lane for a small stretch… I saw so many vehicles driving on the shoulder, honking at each other, driving really close to the other vehicle, moving from one lane to the other thinking that the other lane moves faster, blocking the way for service vehicles, and all sorts of things which we dont get to see normally in Pittsburgh.

Although this is unusual in Pittsburgh, I have seen this is how people drive in New York everyday. There is absolutely no lane rules, no respect for pedestrians, it is just free for all… Its simply because the density of vehicle population on roads is a lot more in NY as compared to Pittsburgh…

I think there are three categories of drivers :
a) Those to follow and respect rules to ensure their and others safety irrespective of the country in which they drive
b) Those who follow and respect rules if sufficient infrastructure is provided. But in the absence of a good supporting infrastructure they don’t follow rules
c) Those don’t care about rules anywhere.

Am sure every country has a good mix of all the three. Its just that it’s a lot more glaring in India and less obvious in countries like US.


About goks

My friends call me Goks and I like being called that way. :-) I am a Piscean by my sun sign and I perfectly fit the description that is available in any public domain. I am just saying that so that I dont have to write too much here. I am married and have a beautiful family... The fact that am married will reflect on my blogs hence no politically incorrect comments or posts from me... ;-) I started blogging in Sep 2009 after being inspired by a friend of mine (Actually my mentor on a lot of aspects of life) I discovered that it is a great way to express myself... Here is where I write - https://gokulraman.wordpress.com Am also an amateur photographer learning everyday. I have always felt that capturing something picture worthy on a camera is a very rewarding experience. Sharing it with others and seeing them enjoy that picture is even more rewarding. I take pics of just about anything hence no specialities. I specifically like shooting nature, animals, landscapes, etc. So if you are bored with what I have written, pls visit my photography blog... http://goks3rdeye.wordpress.com

Posted on June 13, 2010, in Peelasophy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Yes, Gokul, very true. However, it is unfortunately the rule in India. Also, even if the road is empty and there are hardly any vehicles on the road, the conditioning is such that you will invariably find a two wheeler or an auto driver coming on the wrong side, or doing something blatantly wrong. if traffic situation can be streamlined in India, we will build a country far better to live in. The anger quotient will reduce and I did have a solution for improving the situation. but no guts right now for a start-up. Technology and harsh punishments are the only way to discipline both drivers and corrupt cheap cops in India.

    • Yep… Certainly!!! you did touch someone of those important points which I missed. Am sure you meant that Technology should be a key part of the harsh punishment (Interms of the implementation). Otherwise harsh punishments are going to be another advantage for already corrupt cops. Instead of asking for 50 to 100 Rs they are now going to ask for 1000 to 2000 bucks as bribe for not punishing… People will still be willing to pay and get away with it.

      I dont think we can keep blaming the size of the country anymore. There are smaller countries with better infrastructure. If we get our infrastructure straight we will be really better off…

  2. Fantastically put, agree with all the views above, with more people it should be easier to do things in a faster way, but looks like its gone in the reverse.

    Everybody wants to get to their destination first and start late, its more of thinking and acting rather giving in to impulse.

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