Dancing hands and leaking two-wheelers

It’s been a while since the last post on Indian traffic terms. Time for some more in the series.

Dancing hands: Ever tried to overtake a truck the wrong way, I mean from the left? When you do this, you invariably find a hand dancing out of co-driver’s window. This ‘dancing hand‘ flashes out a multitude of signals, but no traffic manual has them documented. So, a hand going in sine waves could either mean ‘go ahead, pass’, or say ‘oh wait, the truck is cutting left’. The fun is in interpreting a dancing hand the way you want and then taking a chance. A frantic hand going in circles is usually the signal that this lorry is in the mood to race you. I haven’t figured all the signals, but know for sure that absence of ‘a dancing hand’ usually means the co-driver is busy having a drink or meal.

Leaking two-wheelers: Our powerful ‘red lights’ do manage to hold a lot of vehicles, but while the counter ticks down, and as and when opportunity arises, ‘drops’ of two wheelers sneak out from the ‘ocean’ of stationary automobiles. I call this the phenomena of ‘leaking two-wheelers‘. It is on display at every intersection in Bangalore, Pune and every other city. Sometimes, ‘leaking’ isn’t a luxury for two wheelers alone, three wheelers and city buses try it too.

Double stop intersections: These are aplenty here in Bangalore. These specially designed intersections have two funnels for the traffic. One is the red light itself. But as soon as the red light turns green with envy (hey hey hey, that neighbor traffic light is letting people go, why shouldn’t I!), you bump into BMTC buses parked right ahead at a bus stop. These bus stops have been designed with a purpose. The idea is to not let any vehicle just speed away like that. Speed kills you know. And these double stop intersections help.

Examples? Silk board itself has one, try going under the flyover towards HSR layout. Airport road ORR overpass at Marathahalli is another one with a bus stop on airport road in each direction, both carefully designed to ‘choke’ traffic. Okay, I told you two, you tell me more.


8 Responses

  1. Leaking two-wheelers are going to be there till we get video’s and cancel their licenses.

    The double stop intersections are something that bowls me over. THis shows the perfect un-understanding between BMTC, traffic police. They waster crores on fly overs to “ease” the traffic but with these ensure its uneased – mera bharath mahan

  2. Video may be a bit tough to implement. we’d need 50 cameras at each intersection then. Best would be to have random “shoot at sight” days – cops should be allowed to shoot down tires of any offending vehicle. “automobile rights” folks could complain of excesses. But one random ‘shoot at sight’ per month should set it all right.

    You got to do what you got to do :)

  3. We need spikes popping out of the road when facing a red light or one of those collapsible barricades used at starting points of races. ofcourse we need roads first for anything to pop out of them.

  4. Pedestrians are the worst nightmare on roads. You don’t know when one is going to – to borrow the terminology – leak onto the road.

    But, then how else does a Pedestrian cross a Road? How does one cross Hosur Road from one side to another?

    Nobody, is pro-actively solving problems – we have a govt. machinery which reacts to problems.

    Traffic Inspectors – will ask you for silly Pollution Control Certificates – BUT – do not have the brains to go after – black smoke fuming Truck or a Bus plying on the road.

  5. Howdoesitmatter – I have heard a lot of these interesting ideas from friends and colleagues. Will make a separate post out of them soon.

    Apun KD – Let us not blame the peds. Because we all play peds one time or another. And frankly, the city hasn’t taken care of them. Look at Outer Ring Road. such high speeds, fewer signals, but there is not one overbridge/skyway to make life easy for pedestrians. Look at few newly widened roads, roadwork is completed, but footpaths are left unpaved and unfinished.

  6. I tend to use the outer ring road and the biggest problem i face is not the bikes, cars or even heavy vehicles, its the pedestrains. Based on my experience I can’t but agree with Apun Ka Desh when he says Pedestrians are the worst nightmare on roads. You don’t know when one is going to – to borrow the terminology – leak onto the road

    Some people seem to believe that just by raising their hands, they can bring a bike/car coming in at 80-120 kmph to a halt and they can safely cross the road…

    Btw, do you have a term for pedestrians raise their hands (indicating that all traffic stop) when they desire to cross the road?

  7. Sajith, that is called the “hand of god” :)

    Yes, ORR badly needs some ped-bridges for safety of both pedestrians and drivers.

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