Friday, 19 July 2013

10 major reasons why we "HONK" so much in Ahmedabad ?

Honking. A word heard very much if you are walking, standing or driving on the streets of Ahmedabad.  Its something very annoying that we all who drive a vehicle do. Something that disturbs the morning peace, that can make you irritated, can give you severe headaches and make driving on the roads horrible.  If one day the horn of my car or my bike goes off, I feel like a sort of handicap.  How am I suppose to drive now ? That was the first question that hit me.  Once even while on the highway the horn of my car suddenly went off and I was so nervous that I got a new one installed right at the first garage on the highway.

So why is honking so important for us while we are driving ? Well of course not everyone honks, but majority of the people who drive they do so.  Even I do that some times. :p 

So once again why do we honk ? Why why why ?  I was wondering on it and this is what I've observed over the last 2 decades of driving on the streets of Ahmedabad.

1)  First and foremost, we drive recklessly.  Most of us never follow the traffic rules and hence while we are driving recklessly others honk for that 'Being Safe' aspect.

2)  We never drive in a lane.  And if we do, we most of the time drive in the wrong lane ;)  So the person driving in the correct lane for that particular moment honks to yell "Hey you get off the fast lane.  You are way to slow and I'm in a hurry"

3)  We love driving on the wrong side.  And since the BRTS has come up, we became more lazy to go around and take a turn from the right junction.  So since the people driving on the wrong side feel its their birth right to drive on the wrong side, the people driving on their correct side have to honk at them.

4)  I've seen many many of the girls and women (don't take it personally and make it a gender issue) who drive their 2 wheeler and car never give a side while turning to the right. Never ever.  They simply turn when and where they want to as if there is no one behind them or as if the one driving behind them is going to have a dream that you are now going to take a right turn.

5)  We abruptly stop if we suddenly met some old friend or a relative on the road and start chatting as if the world is going to end, never giving a thought that there are vehicles coming from behind.

6)  We are so impatient.  We want to reach our destination earlier than the other person driving on the road. So to cross the road first at a cross road, we honk at others telling them, "Hey idiot wait.  I'm in a hurry".  And the same is done by the other person. ;)  So the war of horns begins till both the drivers come at a point in the middle of the cross road, where both brake just 2 inches away from each other and start a fight. First dialogue of the quarrel ? You got it right.  "Dekhatu nathi, andhalo che ?"  (Can't you see.  Are you blind ?)  Surprisingly both can see very well and that's why they stopped so close as if they want to kiss each other :p  

And so the vehicles behind them have to stop which makes them to honk too telling both the idiots to move aside and than carry on their quarrel, so that others can get on with their honking.  Ooops I meant driving ;)

7)  The ever so popular rickshaw drivers.  Can we ever ignore them while driving on the roads in Ahmedabad ? Never :)  They drive as if the rules don't exist for them. They break all the possible rules that exist in the traffic rule book.  They park where they want to creating big obstructions on narrow roads and on major cross roads. Never give a signal while taking a turn.  Most of them will drive in the middle of the road, so if you wish to over take again you have to honk at them.

8)  Teenagers on motor bikes.  One of the biggest menace on the roads.  When the adrenaline flows through their blood, they get a kick to drive fast and just to tell others that hey we are arriving, they start to honk and that too pretty loud and continuous.  Its so horrible that many times new drivers or senior citizens driving on the roads can get a scare and that might even cause accidents.

9)  Pedestrians.  They cross a major road from any point where they wish to.  Never paying heed that they have to cross it where there is zebra crossing.  So when you are driving on the road and someone just shows up from no where, what you do ? You honk to tell that bugger, get off the road.

10)  The most important one being, the RTO (Regional Traffic Office).  They never train anyone for traffic signs and rules.  They don't care or dare to increase the fines to a level where the public is scared to break traffic rules and pay heavy fines.  They have not tried enough to force the culture of following traffic rules on the public.  Never made enough efforts to collaborate with schools and colleges to impart traffic education to the kids and teenagers.

As a result of above, people selling horns of different sounds and decibels are doing good business ;)  Also doctors like ENT's and to some extent psychologist's might also do good business.  

Now come on Amdavadi's, we need to stop honking and follow traffic rules :)