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  • Category: Competition Entries

    Indian truck drivers driving in wrong lanes drive me insane!

    There are several hundreds of traffic rules in India listed under the Motor Vehicles Act. While some are somewhat stringently followed (for example not driving in the opposite lane or not jumping the red light), some of them are often violated (such as not wearing helmets while riding two-wheelers). There are some rules that hardly anyone follows - for example, a two-wheeler rider must signal a left-turn with his/her right hand but we all end up using our left hand (the rule is there because you should never let go your hand off the clutch, or rear brake in gearless two-wheelers).

    For all such offenses, we see various degrees of penal measures from the concerned authorities. However, there is one violation of traffic rule for which several accidents occur, but seldom any penal measure is taken against the violators. And that is driving in the wrong lane on national highways.

    Since in our country, vehicles are usually right-hand-drive and we drive on the left side of the road, the leftmost lane is the slowest and the rightmost lane is the fastest on the national highways. Only then you can overtake from the right side which is the rule. However, if you travel on national highways in India, more often than not you will see slower vehicles driving on the rightmost lane. And most of them are truck drivers (or drivers of similar heavy goods vehicles). I do not want to say that all goods carriage drivers violate this rule - but I have seen most of them do. It is very irritating when you find a heavy truck going in 40-60 km on the highway on the rightmost lane. Even you keep honking behind it or keep flashing your headlight for an eternity, it is not going to shift to its left and let you overtake from the right. How long will you drive your four-wheeler at 40 km per hour behind a truck? So, in such situations, you have no other option and need to overtake from the left side, which is extremely risky. This is because when you approach the left-rear corner of a big right-hand-drive vehicle, you move into the blind spot of the driver.

    Several accidents occur in India as small cars need to weave in and out large goods vehicles continuously driving on the rightmost lane at a slow speed. We actually end up driving in a way that is exactly opposite to the traffic rule - the heavy and slower vehicles take the rightmost lane while smaller and faster vehicles take the left one.

    I do not want to believe that so many truck drivers willingly violate the rule. This, I believe, happens because of not knowing the rules and having a herd mentality at the same time (that is if the truck in front of me is driving in the rightmost lane I also keep driving in a similar fashion). However, while I have seen several awareness drives by the authorities regarding several safety measures such as fastening seat belts and wearing helmets, I hardly remember seeing any placard or any other instruction to spread awareness regarding this matter.

    If all the truck drivers followed the rule and drove on the leftmost lane, and shifting to the middle/right lane only when overtaking an even slower vehicle, two-wheelers and four-wheelers would not require to drive in a zigzag manner. I fervently hope the concerned authority takes up adequate measures including driver education programs and levies fine to slow-moving vehicles for driving on the rightmost lane.

    N.B. this is an entry to the Topic of the month TOW contest - Drive.
  • #701415
    Over speeding and drunken driving are major contributors to road accidents. Many people riding two wheelers indulge in adventurism and heroism resulting in accidents.
    Rules are for the safety of all=the vehicle drivers as well as the pedestrians. All road users have to follow and comply with the rules. Rules also should be realistic and practical. In the same way the punishment should also be exemplary and practical to implement. The punishments should be deterrents for rule violators. Conditions of the roads also need to be improved for safe driving.

  • #701429
    Mr . Venkiteswaran, I agree that all traffic violations are menacing. However, in this thread I was particularly concerned about heavy goods carriers being driven at a slow pace on the rightmost lane, and the lack of penal measures as well as awareness programs regarding the same.
    Poulami Bakshi

  • #701581
    I admit the author's opinion. Drivers should be educated and see that they will follow the rules. If still there is no change then we should give them a penalty.
    We have conducted a training programme for truck drivers in our factory under CRS. an 8 hours training programme is organised and experts delivered very good lectures and the drivers appreciated the course content. I told the drivers that they also should implement the points told by the experts and at least if one accident is avoided, we will feel proud that our efforts are not wasted.
    If every industry arranges some programs like this there may be a change in the attitude of the drivers and we can avoid many accidents.
    The final way is to give heavy penalties to the drivers. But we should avoid accidents at any cost.

    always confident

  • #701593

    I have seen people overtaking from the wrong sides and it has become so common that many people do not know that it is not allowed and is an offence. Truck drivers on the highway are a notorious lot and they do not give side to the vehicles and then the following vehicles have no other go then to go ahead from wrong side. I feel that our governance in traffic controlling is not up to standard and as there are no stringent punishments, these defaulters do not bother much and do not improve their ways. It is a big problem in our country and requires deep pondering and resolution.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #701594
    Following traffic rules is very important if you have a vehicle and you are one among the drivers on heavy traffic roads. In every field, there are certain disciplines to be followed and adhered to. Truck drivers overload the vehicle and face disastrous consequences at the cost of their life. Proper inspection of the vehicle regularly as well as keeping personal health in condition is an important aspect for drivers while driving.
    Lead the leader

  • #701713
    Mr. Umesh, as you have observed, overtaking from the wrong side happens only because these truck drivers block the actual overtaking lane, which is the rightmost one in our country. Sometimes I satirically think whether all these truck drivers have come from America where the leftmost in the fastest lane!
    Poulami Bakshi

  • #701751
    If we could conduct some training for the truck drivers, it may produce some impact. Let us not think that they would not be responsive to our suggestions. These guys are intelligent and competent and only because of being in the drunken state, they are not alert required in this profession.

    However, undertaking the driving duty and being heavily drunk attract severe punishment to be meted but unfortunately, such issues are not being handled effectively. Traffic - police need to be extra vigilant to ensure that there is no violation of the traffic law.

  • #701757
    I too drive my Padmini on highway lanes at a good speed. I too observed the driving pattern of the truck drivers. It is easy for cars and small vehicles to make quick movements and shift from one lane to the other lane. But it is very difficult for the heavy goods vehicles to maneuver fast and shift their lanes. That is the reason they concentrate on one lane and after overtaking a vehicle, they continue in the same lane till they overtake another slow-moving vehicle. Small vehicles need to be careful while driving on the highway.
    No life without Sun

  • #701834
    Sun, I understand that it is not easy to change lanes for trucks. What I want to say is often their default lane is the rightmost lane which is plain wrong. If they drive on the left lane and then shift to the right for overtaking a slower vehicle, that is perfectly fine and according to the rules.
    Poulami Bakshi

  • #701864
    The incident mentioned by the writer is a valid one and many of us might have come across such incidents. It becomes very irritating when you are in a hurry and honking to the vehicle in front of you to give rise but he/she never reciprocates and keeps to the lane which makes you overtake from the wrong side which is dangerous. We find most of such cases at night and on the highway as they know that patrolling will be less and many heavy-duty drivers are half drunk. Here, many don't mean to insult heavy-duty drivers but as the post is focusing the heavy-duty vehicles, I have mentioned but even small vehicle drives too drink and drive and the result is the accidents that are reported every day. There are hoarding mentioning about keeping the lane, to overtake from right, etc but hardly followed by drivers. It is not only heavy-duty drivers but all who drive vehicles must follow rules and make sure that they and others drive safe and reach the destination or to their waiting dear ones as they left by obeying and following the traffic rules.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #701874
    When there are multiple lanes, overtaking from both left and right are justified. When I drive my Padmini, I don't change lanes frequently unless otherwise I overtake and change the lane. But I prefer to go on the extreme right lane for my safety. If I hold on to left, I may have to make frequent shifting of lanes.

    A good driver will never feel about the lanes and the vehicles. I never get irritated while I drive my Padmini on a highway. I enjoy driving with my frequent shifts. I use both left and right side rearview mirrors and central mirror, to ensure safe maneuvering.

    No life without Sun

  • #701879

    Most of these truck drivers have learnt driving just like that by helping their friends in driving or learning it in an open field in a village area. They do not learn from a driving school. So, whatever they have learned they remain confined to that whether it is right or wrong.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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