Tag Archives: traffic

Perils of Using the Hazard Light

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So, here I am in Jamshedpur, as my sister had broken her knee and needed to be operated on. During the course of helping out around the town, one of the requirements was to take her to the hospital and back. As the wound were still fresh, it meant that I had to drive the car very slowly. As per my knowledge I used to switch on the hazard lights to indicate the same so that I don’t hold up traffic unnecessarily. Here starts the dilemma.

Ever since I started using it, I found that either people had no idea why I was using it, or like in some cases people came up and even told me, “bhai sab, apka sara blinker ON hai”. I found it weird and surprising. What blew my top was when I saw someone else zip straight through a crossing with the hazard lights on. I was confused now. I came across my neighbour who had the explanation that you should use the ‘straight’ lights to indicate that you are going straight in a crossing. The explanation hit me flat on my face and I started wondering why someone would use the hazard light in this manner. I was trying to figure where they got this information from? It definitely wasn’t the motor training school. I soon found that most of them learnt the same by seeing others use it. This also highlighted the fact the most people who drive cars are actually not licensed legally. They get touts to get them their licenses’ without any training or tests. I can’t really blame them that they don’t know the basic rules. The administration, namely the traffic police are to blame.

I’m not sure if this issue is there in any other cities. I haven’t seen any in the metros but not really sure about the smaller cities. I wonder how one can get this awareness among people regarding basic road rules and vehicle usage.

I realized that not much could be done from my end and resorted to putting up print outs declaring that stated, “Patient On Board”.

Just to be sure of what is the actual use of the Hazard Lights, I dug up some information from a leading automotive lighting manufacturer. It stated the following:

Hazard flashers

Also called “hazards”, “hazard warning flashers”, “hazard warning lights”, “4-way flashers”, or simply “flashers”. International regulations require vehicles to be equipped with a control which, when activated, flashes the left and right directional signals, front and rear, all at the same time and in phase. This function is meant to indicate a hazard such as a vehicle stopped in or near moving traffic, a disabled vehicle, a vehicle moving substantially slower than the flow of traffic such as a truck climbing a steep grade, or the presence of stopped or slow traffic ahead on a high speed road. Sometimes, they are used in severe fog conditions. Operation of the hazard flashers must be from a control independent of the turn signal control, and an audiovisual tell-tale must be provided to the driver. In vehicles with a separate left and right green turn signal tell-tale on the dashboard, both left and right indicators may flash to provide visual indication of the hazard flashers’ operation. In vehicles with a single green turn signal tell-tale on the dashboard, a separate red tell-tale must be provided for hazard flasher indication. Because the hazard flasher function operates the vehicle’s left and right turn signals, a left or a right turn signal function cannot be provided while the hazard flashers are operating.

That Moment When No One Honked – CityOfJoy

Calcutta (Kolkata after the name change, I still love the old name) is one city which is infamous for probably the most chaotic traffic system. The only city where the traffic police would change the signals manually after commuters prompt them by honking incessantly. Park Circus (a se7en point crossing) is still manually managed by around ten – fifteen odd traffic policemen. Any new visitor would be in awe seeing the seamless co-ordination among them as thousands of vehicle criss cross probably the busiest crossing in the city. It’s not that this city does not know commuting without honking or that they do not have any civic sense, if you may call it that. Keep aside the fact that even the best of cars in this city carry at least one small dent some where reminding you of the chaos it went through.
That moment when no one honked took me by surprise, made me get off my bike to investigate whats up with this city. There I notice a car driver stop his car right in the middle of the road. The traffic started piling up. But, no one honked. This gentleman got down to help an old man cross the busy crossing. It seems the old chap had been standing there for quite sometime. Everyone, including the unruly bus drivers waited, waited for the driver to help the old man.
So, people who call this city chaotic and a mess, let me point out, this is just one of those instances which might make you swallow the word you just blurted out. For once just ignore the negatives and look out for the lesser joys of life. I guess it was a matter of realizing that among all these commuters crossing that day, this one man decided to take a stand to help this old chap. All others acknowledged the fact and No One Honked!!!

Dubai Jayenge (will u go to dubai)

Nothing about me has changed.  As soon as I make a to-do list, I take the time to do things like this.

I started writing this post a while ago, but stopped because I realized that I wasn’t exactly sure what I was trying to say.  Everything in my life felt messy for a moment, and I suppose I was trying to vent, but I do not enjoy public…ventilation?, so I deleted it.  My mind and eyes are wide open to everything that is new around me, and believe me, there is an abundance of newness present.  I’m not just foreign, I feel foreign, which is something new for me.

On to something new.  I’ve been going to job interviews for the last few weeks, which has entailed daily journeys between the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah.  The distance between the two should only take about 15 minutes, but because of the traffic, it can take up to 3 hours, specially while returning from Sharjah during peak hours.  Because this country does not believe in an actual system of public transportation, and I am sans vehicle, I have been taking taxis.  I’m sure you all can just imagine the joyful expression on the face of a Sharjahtaxi driver when, after hailing him, I divert eye contact and say ”to Dubai, please!” Like a small child ordered to do his chores, he whimpers and carries on.  The first time this happened, the taxi driver and I were stuck together for 3 and 1/2 hours. After the second hour, he turned to look at me and pointed his pinkie finger toward the roof of the car.  I couldn’t help but to squint my eyes in question. Understanding that I was confused, he said, “do you know what this means?” I confirmed my confusion. “It means I need to go to toilet, too much water I drink. Okay with you Sirji?” (the taxi driver was a nice  pakistani chap) Of course, I would not deny him personal relief, so we pulled over at some sort of automotive shop.  I decided not to ask about the pinkie, and store the gesture in my mind for future reference.

The small whimper and complaint I receive from Sharjah taxis is not what I have experienced from Dubai drivers.  If I tell him my destination before actually placing myself in the taxi, he will drive away quickly, leaving me to continue frying in the sun.  I think I have finally mastered the situation, though.  The first step is to place self in taxi and close door before any communication.  Then, break the news about the future you will share.  The other day I did this, and the driver told me, “no, get out.”  After some pleading, he still refused.  I politely told him that I was not moving.  We sat in silence, parked against the curb for 10 minutes, until finally I said, “listen, I’m not getting out, and I truly don’t mind sitting here for as long as it takes.”  At that moment, he reluctantly forced his way into the traffic. I WIN.

When, I tell you that the traffic is bad, I feel that some of you may think I’m exaggerating. I googled “Dubai Traffic” and found a photo that documents perfectly my commute:

Sophisticated cities have sophisticated public transportation. COME ON DUBAI! …. well after all dubai is one place that has been on the front of human development for many years but this is one area i hope they do something about pretty soon.

coming back to the point that i had delayed this writeup for long … well it was another incident in Mumbai that made me situp n think. I was supposed to catch a train from LTT Kurla at 9:50pm and left Kandivali at around 5:15pm, i still missed the train. O|O … i know people have been raising too many eyebrows… i reached the station that day at 10.30pm … of course i should have assumed that the train had left but … 😐

well i guess we can jus say that the whole world … be it Hi Tech Dubai or our very own Amchi Mumbai … traffic is something mankind is yet to control 🙂

motorcycles, life & everything else in between