Driving in India

The following item was extracted from the
travel section of a UK daily newspaper:

Traveling in India is an
almost hallucinatory experience of
sound and spectacle.

It is mostly exhilarating, sometimes hilarious,
and frequently extremely dangerous.

Most Indian road users observe a version of the
Highway Code based on an ancient text.

Here are the 7 Rules of the Indian Road,
for the first time in English.

The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

The following must always be given right-of-way, in descending order of importance: cows, elephants, trucks, buses, cars, camels, motorcycles, pigs, goats, bicycles, dogs, pedestrians.

All vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat.

Use of horn (also known as the sonic fender):

     FOR CARS -
          Single blast (casual) means "There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my windshield)" or "I have not blown my horn for several minutes."

          Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, such as in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians from path.

          Long blast (desperate) denote supplication, as to oncoming truck, "I am going too fast to stop, so unless you slow down we shall both die". In extreme cases this may be accompanied by flashing of headlights (frantic).

     FOR TRUCKS AND BUSES - All horn signals have same meaning, "I weigh approximately 12.5 tons and have no intention of stopping, even if I could."

     RIGHTS OF WAY: Traffic entering a road from the left has priority. So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle.

     LANE DISCIPLINE: All traffic at all times, regardless of direction of travel, shall occupy the center of the road.

In the absence of seat belts, car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds.

Nirvana may be obtained through a head-on crash.

(edited by David Van Alstyne)
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