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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Road use in a decidedly different way... very much unlike the U.S.

    I saw a program the other night called "Don't Drive Here." This particular program featured Delhi, India as their city of example. The program dealt with the host first riding in a car or truck with various drivers, getting instruction from them, then taking a driving class from a local and finally getting a local license.

    http://www.discovery.ca/showpage.aspx?sid=51853
    http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-show...ont-drive-here

    Younghusband, who's become an expert on terrible Canadian drivers, is about to experience disastrous driving on an epic, global scale. But this time, he's not coaching the worst-of-the worse from the sidelines. Now, Younghusband buckles up (when possible) and shifts into gear to learn the local road "rules." Under pressure and on camera, Younghusband's own skills are put to the test in the heart of each new pulsing metropolis: New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Manila, Philippines; Mexico City, Mexico; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Lima, Peru
    Now the key for driving in India was to NOT do shoulder checks... no looking back. The host rode with and drove with a taxi driver first and the taxi driver continued to chastise the host for looking over his shoulder. Apparently the taxi only had one mirror left.

    Younghusband discovers that in India, lane driving is seen as an odd "Western" thing to do.
    The host went on and drove another car and a truck, and all the while he was told to not look back, that those behind him had responsibility to avoid him, and they would drive the appropriate speed to ensure that they did not collide. The host also drove a small three wheel cart... and again "don't look back."

    Finally the host, Andrew Younghusband takes a driving lesson from a local instructor... and he is told that the keys to driving in India are "don't look back," don't hit anything in front," and ignore the mirrors (which were missing anyway). He is also told to do a quick signal with his right arm and a quick honk when moving laterally, although in one of the vehicles the horn is broken.

    Ultimately he takes a local driving test. Again he is told to signal and the test itself is terribly easy... just a quick round in a parking lot. Apparently bicycle and scooter driver deaths are quite common, and indeed one is cautioned to avoid hitting a cow as it is "worse than death."

    Now this sort of driving is what I would call "organic," not exactly "vehicular," at least as we see "vehicular" in the US. The rules are very loose, and I have seen similar type driving in China and Vietnam. Don't hit what is in front of you, but pay no attention to those behind you. "they are in the past..."

    Just thought I would present this as an alternative as that used in some parts of the world, to "vehicular driving," or strict rules driving... the latter of could which only works when people do actually adhere to the rules.

  2. #2
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Fits with what I've heard. We have outsourced some of our stuff to India, and have a few managers that have spent a few weeks over there. They say that when driving in India, you just do not look back, never ever. Worry about what's in front of you, let the people behind you worry about you, because you're in front of them.

    It does kind of make sense, IF you trust the people behind you to actually pay attention and not hit you.

    The problem with this theory in the US would be that people don't really give a crap and they'll intentionally run you off the road if it means getting one car length ahead.

    Also, it's my theory that we have all these rules on the road primarily so that in any given situation, someone is "at fault." The laws are designed to assign blame rather than to necessarily prevent accidents. If they're all followed exactly they happen to prevent accidents, but I'm not sure that's why they were written.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Fits with what I've heard. We have outsourced some of our stuff to India, and have a few managers that have spent a few weeks over there. They say that when driving in India, you just do not look back, never ever. Worry about what's in front of you, let the people behind you worry about you, because you're in front of them.

    It does kind of make sense, IF you trust the people behind you to actually pay attention and not hit you.

    The problem with this theory in the US would be that people don't really give a crap and they'll intentionally run you off the road if it means getting one car length ahead.

    Also, it's my theory that we have all these rules on the road primarily so that in any given situation, someone is "at fault." The laws are designed to assign blame rather than to necessarily prevent accidents. If they're all followed exactly they happen to prevent accidents, but I'm not sure that's why they were written.
    Well the idea is that the driver behind has one rule... not to hit anyone in front. So you have to moderate your speed to meet the potential of having to avoid anyone in front... that seems to be the missing instruction for motorists here that seem to believe that they "must drive the speed limit" and "must not slow down the traffic from behind." Sure, we know we are not supposed to hit anyone in front of us, but amazingly driving the speed and watching for those behind seem to take some odd precedent in the minds of some drivers here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    The system does not seem to be too safe, so I don't think I would propose it as an alternative http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate

    Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year India: 18.9 USA: 10.4

    Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles India:100.0 USA: 15

    Total fatalities latest year India 142,485 USA: 33,808


    traffic rules/laws are first and foremost for safety and predicatabiliyt of behavior.
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  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    The system does not seem to be too safe, so I don't think I would propose it as an alternative http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate

    Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year India: 18.9 USA: 10.4

    Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles India:100.0 USA: 15

    Total fatalities latest year India 142,485 USA: 33,808


    traffic rules/laws are first and foremost for safety and predicatabiliyt of behavior.
    Agreed... Just thought it was interesting... especially in that the burden is put on the following driver to control their speed... unlike the US where motorists tend to drive fast.

    This also explains the rule I was told in China to "not look at the driver" when crossing a road... essentially, it doesn't matter, as a pedestrian you are playing frogger.

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