Traffic terms – enjoy some more

Let me tell you a few more things about Bangalore (Indian City) traffic before Dr Manmohan Singh vents again. I hope you have been following the “traffic terms” series thus far: one, two and three.

Drive in our cities in the night and you are sure to hit into one eyed jacks. These folks – must be physics graduates – are extreme energy conservationists. Why use both the headlamps when one is bright enough for the job!? So they cut off power supply to one of the front headlamps (usually the right one, don’t know why, may be some theory in physics that says light bends more to the right than left). When these energy freaks emerge from oncoming traffic, they look like those pirates, the one eyed jacks!

If you are into soccer, you may know about linesmen. These special referees do nothing but run up and down on a line for the duration of a soccer match. Our traffic too has its linesmen. These are very disciplined folks who believe in driving on the line, not this side or the other. Some linesmen choose to run on the lane dividers, and make sure no vehicles can go “off side” by cleverly blocking both the lanes, two wheels in this lane and two wheels in the other. I am watching my line brother, you watch yours! The more aggressive linesmen race on the line that is meant to divide the traffic going in opposite directions. Sort of like refereeing two soccer matches at once! Needless to say, you better run for cover on spotting aggressive linesmen.

Spring is the Indian version of Queue. The Spring phenomenon is seen wherever you expected to see a Q, a ticket counter, or a crowded lane on the road for example. Springs seem short, but when you unwind them, it can get really lengthy. All Qs in India are like springs. And the traffic springs have this phenomenal capacity to keep getting compressed and compressed, giving you the illusion that hey, the jam isn’t much! But when this spring starts unwinding, you appreciate the packing capacity of our roads and sidewalks. Incidentally, traffic spring is the only place where drivers exhibit this rare trait called “cooperation”. “Honk honk, hey, could you cut a bit to left so that I can squeeze in that gap”. And the fellow driver will cooperate! Oh yes, once the spring unwinds, its all back to self-before-else rule.

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4 Responses

  1. [...] This website, named by author as poorbuthappy guide to India, is worth a visit. Lots of interesting pictures. This one (linked to the original website) tells you why I said “spring is the Indian version of Queue“. [...]

  2. [...] No, I am not yet done with listing my traffic terms and observations. I have a few more since the last post. [...]

  3. [...] After educating you on some traffic terms, it is time to start documenting the rules of Indian Traffic. Here is the first set. [...]

  4. Should Traffic be Privatized? by Tarique Germany

    Messed up traffic has become an important issue in every one’s life. Easy finances for buying vehicles are resulting in streets getting jam packed. Government is trying its full effort to ease traffic by expanding infrastructure, but this has not helped yet. The main problem that we all are facing is lack of traffic sense in public.

    Much of our population is unaware of traffic rule. Driving license of India can be easily procured without any exam. Rash driving and deadly accident has become part of life for everyone. People’s life is compromised for just few money by the corrupt traffic officers. Nobody can guarantee you that you can reach home safely even if you are driving lawfully, and also it’s not sure whether anyone else will not hit you. Government has made so many laws on traffic and charges for breaking the rules but all the money go into the pocket of corrupt traffic police. Also you don’t have to follow the law, if you are famous businessman’s son, politician’s son, son or nephew of police officers, or film actor like Salman Khan.

    Surprisingly government invite for tenders, like government parking, toll tax, flyway etc which are run by private contractors/corporate companies smoothly (e.g. DND flyway Delhi). Everyone get parking space, everyone pay toll tax and everyone is treated equally. It benefits everyone like government, common man and unemployed youths. Government generates revenue, common man gets safe parking, and unemployed gets employment and large number of jobs are too generated.
    I would like to attract government’s attention, may be corrupt police officer don’t agree with me because their earning will be barred, if government parking, toll bridge etc is handled smoothly by private companies. So if private companies are given chance to manage traffics, for example if anyone is found violating traffic rules like crossing red traffic light, rash driving, drunken driver, speed limit driving, wrong over take, turning vehicle without indicator light, unnecessarily horning or driving on high beam etc should be fined. I am sure that if this is put into practice then everyone will follow the rules strictly.
    On the other hand, bribe will decrease and people who think themselves above the law will come to their senses. This way we can improve our traffic system and save much life from accident and generate much employment. This revenue collected by government can be used in building other traffic necessities. From this collected money government can install traffic surveillance cameras. This will help government in keeping eye on wrong doers, traffics, tracking crime and criminal activities and also the terrorist activities can be checked and many more life can be saved. As a trial, the government can start it with one area and if it’s a success then it can be implemented in other areas.

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