Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Right of way, for heaven's sake!

I witnessed a near-accident at my fave traffic junction - the Koramangala 1st block junction adjacent to Raheja Residency/ Sonakshi Sharma's. It was about 5 pm and as usual there was a gridlock. Cars on all 4 sides were honking as if that incessant honking will magically ease the gridlock. Suddenly the jam seemed to clear gradually on its own and vehicles on all 4 directions geared up to move ahead of the other.

A biker with a lady in the pillion on Sonakshi Sharma's side jumped the gun first and turned right into the Raheja Residency road. At the same damn time, a red Maruti Zen decided it was time to move straight - he was moving from Wipro side towards the Sonakshi Sharmas'.

Off they met at a common point causing another gridlock. Thankfully, the impact was not severe and the biker and his lady companion fell off with a mild thud. The bike dented the front number plate of the Zen and the driver was wondering how he should ideally react.

As expected a couple of auto drivers came and helped the biker and his lady friend. Surprisingly, the biker actually got wild and started shouting at the Zen driver! The Zen driver who had been patient till then got pissed and came out of his car to inspect his side of the damages and when he saw the dented number plate got wild too.

Even more surprisingly, the auto drivers actually forced the biker to get off the place, assuming they understood he was turning right when it was not his turn and that the Zen traveling straight had the right of way. Its a pity that biker did not understand something as obvious as the 'right of way'.

I still remember the way I was taught to drive at Mani Auto driving school in Jayanagar, over a 30 day session. Right through the course, the words/ phrase 'Right of way' was not mentioned even once. There were certain questions during the actual license test but they only implied the concept and did not mention it specifically.

Are things like overtaking on the right, waiting for vehicles moving straight and turning left to move first before you turn right etc not as obvious as it seems, to our folks? Even if you thought you were a responsible driver/ biker, do spend some time in this Wikipedia entry about Right of way!

One terribly annoying habit of select Bangaloreans is to use the speed lane for driving at ridiculously low speeds, most of the times on a mobile phone too. But about that, on another post!

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