- Sep 7, 2014
- Delhi-NCR/ Mumbai
Right Of Way On Roads: Theory Vs Reality!
There is always a debate going on as to who gets the right of the way to pass/ overtake first on our roads. People do tend to take chances and do not really respect the term “right of the way”. Most of them if not all, are unaware of the fact that always it is right of the on-coming traffic to pass first i.e vehicles that are on your right side. Right of the way also is applicable on certain special vehicles like Ambulance, Fire Brigade trucks but majorly the driving sensibilities of the fellow motorists always lead to obstruction of the path of these life-saving vehicles.
There is always a rat-race among the motorists taking place at large where in it is always “I-first”. Driving and overtaking a vehicle on road in today’s time has become a matter of ego-satisfaction more than a necessity. One can’t just bear the fact that someone just over-took even from right side, which is very much a legal and acceptable driving practice in India.
The concept of Right of Way on Indian roads is so much tarnished that even good drivers like all of us here even after obeying and respecting the fellow motorist’s right to ply on roads have to face unwanted situations on the road on a daily basis. People at large do not follow this concept of Right of Way even in traffic build up and this leads to hours of traffic jams and waste of time and fuel altogether.
We most of the times blame the infrastructure like road width, improper signals, lack of man-power (read Traffic Constables). These are also a big problem but a bigger problem that also arises in the absence of these is the missing concept of the right of the way. If motorists do obey the right of the way and give way to emergency vehicles and use proper signaling while driving and overtaking another vehicle then surely many problems can be sorted out with peace and sheer intelligence and there would be a lot less traffic build-up.
I as an example take the roads of Delhi and NCR, We have good number of flyovers, under-passes and minimum 6 to 8 lane city roads (Both sides included) and daily there is an inflation of new cars on roads. It is a jam-packed situation most of the time. Over here also, the concept of the right of the way is sorely missing as people don’t even bother to respect the fact everyone on road is driving towards their destination and no one is in a mood to have gala-time sitting with legs paining due to rapid use of brakes and accelerators and clutch too. They simply barge in from nowhere and try to unnecessarily create space and hinder the smooth flow of traffic. They think by obstructing the way, they can save time and reach first to their destination but forget the fact that such driving antics are always short lived.
The right of the way is not just confined to 4-wheeler, it is equally applicable on pedestrians, 2 wheeler and heavy vehicle including public transport vehicles like buses. 2 Wheeler is the most easiest to maneuver in slightly tight spaces so no matter how big a jam is but a biker always finds a way. At times there are sort of bikers who zoom out of the blue and cross-zig-zag even on a round-about which is dangerous for them as well as for the fellow motorists. Due to some of them the whole biking community has to face the fire most of the time unfortunately. So at all times, even bikers should also responsibly and respectfully accept the right of the way of fellow riders and 4-wheeler traffic.
Now, one of the most important sections whose right of the way is always to be respected is Pedestrians. The largest population on road is that of pedestrians and in most of the states in India we have specific pedestrian-signals on road and Zebra crossing too. So, the Zebra Crossing as well all know is meant for the pedestrians to cross so one should always stop and give way to the pedestrian when approaching a zebra crossing on a Red-signal. Also Pedestrians on the other hand, should be mindful of the fact that there is additional infrastructure built for their safety and ease i.e foot over-bridge and skywalks. So at all times the pedestrians should make use of them so that the smooth flow of traffic is not disrupted and they are safe too.
Even Heavy Vehicles are significant source of traffic on the roads. Transport buses and trucks are not always very kind to the 2 and 4 wheeler traffic on City and Highway roads. They too cause traffic jams for hours without understanding that their slightest of mistake costs so much time and discomfort to all the motorists. Hence, they should immediately provide the pass and respect the right of the way of smaller vehicles so that traffic flow is always maintained.
Finally, I would like to conclude by wishing that the true theory of “Right of the Way” Concept on roads is practically implemented by us all and there are lot less number of accidents and traffic jams because of this and we all shall enjoy driving rather than cribbing and getting pissed off with unwanted flair-up’s on the roads.
So all my buddies, wish you all to Be Safe, Drive Safe, Ride Safe and Reach Home Safe!