The world is full of idiots…

Posted: March 27, 2011 in rash driving
Tags: , ,

The world is full of idiots, but the commercial is only partially true. The idiots are not on two legs, but also behind a steering wheel of a car. And the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is the one place where you can see them in abundance. The dangerous thing is that these idiots could endanger your life or mine.

Driving to Pune from the Mumbai airport on my return from Udaipur, along with a former colleague, who now works with a national business newspaper, we encountered one such idiot. First of all, this idiot and his co-idiots in a Maruti 800 were driving in the fast lane at around 60-70 kmph. Our driver waited patiently for the car to move into lane No 2, but this idiot refused to do so. Left with no choice, our driver then honked, which the idiot again refused to heed. So then, our car moved into lane No 2 to overtake the idiots.

Just as we were about to overtake them from the left, the idiot passenger in the front seat opened the door. It was, what one calls, a perfect “OH SHIT!” moment. Even as our driver stepped on the brakes, the guy opened the door even wider, leaned out and evicted some mucous on the e-way. As our car braked suddenly, we were all gesturing wildly in anger, but the idiot couldn’t have cared less. Completely unconcerned that his act could have caused a serious mishap, he then shut door and glared back at us!

It was a Pune registration number so it’s not that surprising, but thinking about what could have happened made us really mad. I guess this is when you really feel that the government should spend the money and install a state-of-the-art surveillance system which will nail all these idiots who treat the expressway like a by-lane near their home. On our way to Mumbai to take the flight to Udaipur on Friday, we saw an accident inside the first tunnel, where a trailer truck had crashed against the wall of the tunnel and turned at a 90 degree angle.

Day in and day out we read about accidents on the expressway. While doing a story on the subject for Car India, I, along with the Highway Traffic Police was measuring the speed of the vehicles with a speed gun and realised the absurd speeds people drive at only because the road allows them that liberty. I also realised that the cops didn’t have a hope in hell of catching errant motorists, because they were not equipped to do so. They neither had enough cameras nor did they have enough fast 4WDs to do so. Can they stop a car going at 160 plus with their decrepit Sumos?

  1. H V Kumar says:

    This is typical of the disdain that Indian motorists show to observance of laws and rules. And also the cockiness that what they are doing is right and even if they are not, they can get away with it. Only if one establishes a very strict regimen of fines, imprisonment, etc for traffic violations, the overall attitude may change. Sometimes, I think that people simply lack sense and discipline, as you can make out from the open-door-spit situation – anyway, for them the whole world is a garbage bin!

  2. Sharath Shetty says:

    Basically it all goes back to lack of driver education. Since one can get driver’s license without knowing driving, the only opportunity to teach driving is lost.

    In first world countries, one has to study a thick driver’s manual and write a rigorous test before getting a leaner’s license. That provides a common foundation on driving etiquette to every driver. Since Indian RTOs don’t even have a driver’s manual, let alone have tests, driver education never happens. A sheet of traffic signals is not a driver’s manual.

    Right now, most Indian drivers don’t know what they are doing wrong. If you punish them, it is like punishing an illiterate for being able to read.

    PS: You don’t need 4WD do to fast driving. Fast 2WD cars will do just fine.

  3. satyajit shetty says:

    Why only the expressway. You can see idiots like these all over.

    Most people drive slow or wear helmets just out of fear of being caught by cops rather than out of concern for human lives!

    Our cops don’t really need 4wd’s to do their jobs. I fail to see the intent. The cops I have encountered are happy to pounce on people but are happier to let them go after collecting fines without receipts. And once the quota of fines are done with,they are not bothered. The official fine for doing 100kph or 300 is same. So why would anyone bother. I remember being pulled over for doing 84kph (on my gps) in a 80kph zone and the cop say that I will have to go to the court if I want receipt. And when I said I will write abt him on the internet and screw his happiness,he directed me to his saab in a jeep,who did collect the fine but said his blackberry was slow and so he couldn’t give a receipt.

    Rather than nab people doing 84 kph in a 80kph zone,it would help more if we have laws pertaining to idiots driving slow on the fast lane,overtking from the left and DRIVING WITHOUT MIRRORS to name amongst the few.

    Till then all we need to do is be smart and pray that you don’t get Tboned or rearended by one of these pricks

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