My memories of Delhi go back to mid 1950s. I used to visit this city a few times every year on holidays which continued even after I started working. I used to stay in South Delhi except for first couple of years which was at Anand Prabat. The area those days had lots of open spaces around with green fields dotting sides of roads even till 1970s. I did visit Karol Bagh, Darya Ganj, Chandani Chowk etc but found roads to have enough space. I had traveled in Trams as well as those motorcycle engine autos called Phatphats. Haphazard expansions started only after that altering the face of city making it look so congested. Even traffic those days was comfortable and one could cross even busiest of roads without much difficulty but now to do the same is like Russian Roulette. I have been in Delhi since 1986 and have seen traffic go from bad to worse. I know that there is increase not only in population but in number of vehicles, all kinds, too. More than the number of vehicles it is traffic sense which has deteriorated more. We can still manage if we keep some basic road courtesies in mind. Based on my own experience of driving, I am giving a few DOs and DON’Ts which can help in smooth and orderly traffic flow.
First and foremost one needs to remember that others too have equal right to use the roads. If someone has to apply brakes of his or her vehicle harshly because of some driving action on your part, it is you who is wrong.
Maintain steady pace as per situation. If you are driving in extreme right lane which is meant for overtaking do not block traffic following you with slow driving keeping long gap with vehicle in front of you.
Stick to one lane and do not change lanes when traffic is heavy unless it is clear to do so. There are many who either drive half in each of two lanes or weave in and out of lanes as per their wish to move forward. Two and three wheelers are the main culprits for the second part with quite a few car drivers too doing the same.
Anticipate traffic signal change when still at a distance. Never speed up excessively on seeing green traffic light at a distance as it may turn red once you reach there leaving you with no time to stop while vehicles from other direction may move fast on getting green signal.
Do keep in mind that pedestrians too have right to use road at traffic lights to cross on designated zebra markings. So do not encroach on that space making those on foot to cross road zigzagging through vehicles.
Concentrate on driving and not chit chatting or indulging in discussions with co-passenger or enjoying sights around.
While asking for directions or talking on mobile ensure that you are not blocking those following you.
God forbid, if some mishap takes place be courteous to stop and help one who is injured. Even if someone has hit or brushed your vehicle, talk it out with cool mind instead of indulging in slanging match.
While parking one should ensure that passage is not blocked for other vehicles. There are a number of persons who park in market as close to the shop they wish to visit without a care that they disrupt smooth flow of traffic.
A number of persons do not switch lights ON at DAWN ie just after the daybreak and at DUSK ie little before twilight as they feel they can see well but they do not realize that in the limited light their vehicles may not properly visible to others. Keeping lights on does not increase fuel consumption.
And I have not talked about commercial vehicles like buses, trucks or tempos and cabs. These are devil’s own employees.
I request you all to suggest more.