Wednesday, March 23, 2011


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.


suruchi said...

wow...that's quite a list uncle J...if only the government would follow it up on a serious awareness spreading mission...

you know the problem is not so much with the educated vehicle owners*though we have to discount the young and the restless from here* it is these tempo owners and such who completely violate traffic rules...driving then becomes such a stressful experience when it should be a pleasurable one:/

Ellen said...

That's a good list, Jack. I certainly would like to see that applied here too. We also have our share of terrors on the road.

Rinkal said...

hie uncle
how r u.i am nt able to read all ur post because of stdy now after some days i will read.and nice post.

Miss Hanif said...

Thanks for sharing the Dos and Don'ts, they are worth. People should follow them to avoid accidents or blocking roads etc

The Blue Periwinkle said...

Nice list...

Chandrika Shubham said...

I had traveled in Trams as well as those motorcycle engine autos called Phatphats.

I like this line. :)

Thanks for sharing road tips. :)

Jack said...


I agree with you that we need to spread awareness about Road Etiquettes. Not only Government but some voluntary organisations including schools and colleges should also get involved. Take care


This malady seems to be worldwide, may be barring some countries where laws are strictly enforced or literacy level is high making people understand importance of following rules. Take care


I am so happy to see you here after such a long time. I look forward to your visit again to read my posts. BEST OF LUCK FOR YOUR EXAMINATIONS. Take care


Thanks for your support. Hope people do understand that following rules avoids accidents. Take care

T B P :

Welcome to my space. Hope to see you more often. I do look forward to your views on my older posts, if you find time. I will visit you as soon as I can. Take care


Those were the days. How I wish that we can have similar order on roads today also. Thanks for supportive comment. Take care

Tranquility Speaks said...

That is some lovely advise! The line that comes to my mind is "What's the hurry! Where's the fire?"

Leave ahead of time so that you don't have to drive rashly to get to your destination on time. Take into account the time spent in traffic.

Use more of public transport, if feasible, to as to prevent pollution and conserve on petrol and diesel.

Just 2 things I felt like adding :)

ritika said...

This was pretty helpful uncle, I learned driving a few days back. I am following the rules. But the people driving on the lanes.. drive their cars incessantly. It gives me super frustration. Possibilities are- I might turn out to be the same driver they are.

Take care uncle!

P.s.- My holi was great. Did you play with your grandchildren?

Jack said...


So sweet of you to add on very important advice. Yes, WHAT IS THE HURRY, WHERE IS THE FIRE? Unless you are driving an ambulance or fire tender. Relax, or be ready to meet creator prematurly.

Take care

PS : Replied in previous post too.


So nice to see you. Do not get frustrated or worked up. Just drive coolly following road etiquettes. Let those hooligans drive to their destiny. Yes, I did have a good time with our grandaughter of 3 yrs. Our daughter is in another locality, so I did not meet her children this HOLI. Hope you did not take too many PANGAS. LOL.

Take care

Gayu said...

Thought provoking and pretty helpful. I agree that we need to follow the rules, but have we seen the conditions of the road.
Here in Mumbai, the roads are pathetic,everywhere u can see a "WORK IN PROGRESS" boards.
Commuting becomes really difficult in such kind of roads.
This also increases the chances of traffic.
I guess people should themselves take responsibility. Everyone needs to be cautious.

Gayu said...

Also i would like to highlight one more important thing. People who throw plastic, chocolate wrappers,paper etc in public places, should be fined.
We have not been given public amenities to misuse. We always have a tendency to think that there is someone else to do it. WHY???
Especially after Holi i saw it, many buildings ground were covered with plastic bags, balloons etc.
They think that the sweeper has a job and he will do it.
In our building few of us took initiative and told the children not to use plastic bags and balloons.
If every1 takes initiative then i guess we can make the society greener...:)
It was pretty long i guess:P

Jack said...


You are right on both counts. I was in a town where there were more potholes than metaled surface of road. To make it worse all kinds of traffic was there starting with people on foot, two wheelers including cycles, cycle rickshaws, horsecarts, bullock carts apart from all kinds of four wheelers. It was catch 22, so either you avoided traffic or potholes. We need to spread awareness of road sense as well as civic sense right from childhood.

Take care

Neeha said...

That's a good list..
But don't know when it would be implemented:)

Jack said...


Let us hope and pray that public awareness increases manifold and we all follow it voluntarily. Take care

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

While turning on right hand side, take the longer curve. The vehicle on the other side has to cut from its left.

U mentioned about Delhi, how it used to be in 1950s. It would be interesting to see some pics of the city that time.

Jack said...


You are right on this count. If you turn very sharply, you are blocking the person coming from other side.

I will try to dig up some old photographs but chances are not very bright.

Take Care