Navigation Photography

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Introducing a website to educate Indian drivers

Ah, my pet peeve, the fabulous road discipline and sense, or lack thereof, of Indian drivers. Who, you ask? Hey, I'm taking about us. You and me, and our friends and family. Yes all of US.

There is no denying the fact that the people most to blame are those who drive for a living: bus, cab and auto drivers. Why do such people not follow the traffic rules? The reasons are many, and they are valid, and we are familiar with them: mostly uneducated, underpaid, overworked, never had proper training (if you call sitting beside another driver and watching him mash the gears, then being given your own killing machine to run over every pedestrian on the road as training, well, fine), trying to meet minute deadlines, and what have we. Again, don't for a moment think that I am accepting these reasons, endorsing them as valid, sympathizing with them. NO. Whatever be the reasons, it does not excuse indisciplined driving and flagrant violation of traffic norms , rules and regulations. I've written about this extensively on Traffic problems are everybody's problems.

But, whats YOUR excuse, o educated, civilized, well-paid, law-abiding (we hope) citizen?

Dr. Adhiraj Joglekar is trying to bring about a change in the driving attitudes, habits and cultures of Indian road users. Please applaud him for his effort, and give him all the support you can. NOT by just glancing at his blog, Driving India, but by actually watching the videos, forwarding the link to other people, linking from your website and by making an attempt to actually follow what he's so painstakingly put up.

PS: Yes, he's got videos for all you compulsive vidisordered (I coined this phrase myself, so if you use it, I must be paid royalty!) people, who have forgotten to read.

This is what he says:

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

The Driving India site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

To watch the videos, interested readers may visit:

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation


I've joined Purdafash, have you? Nothing like people power, huh? So its run by a bunch of ex-IIM nd ex-IIT grads, with fire in their belly and stars in their eyes. Or so we think. After a while the fire is doused and the stars stop twinkling. (If you haven't guessed it already, I'm quite the cynic.) May the force be with this group. Or so we hope.

PS: Hullo, why are you still reading this? Get your 3-letter word over to their website, sign up, read the reports, be aware and CONTRIBUTE.

Charging over MRP at airports - 14

I've written to many newspapers about this recent case so that they might put in a small article about it, but till now I've not heard from even a single one... am I surprised? Not really. They are too busy figuring out which esteemed leader of men/mice (take your pick) had prefrontal lobotomy, which page 3 joker had unnatural congress with mutant members of other species and who crawled into whose smelly bottom. Sigh, it must suck to be a journo in India.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Charging over MRP at airports - 12 (Victory!)

Read Charging over MRP at airports - 11 first.

There was some political upheavals occurring in Karnataka and the orders were finally passed on 18th October. The orders were in my favour! Victory. Finally.

The judges have examined both sides of the issue and have held that the O.P. has indulged in "Unfair Trade Practice amounting to deficiency in service by charging the packaged items over and above the maximum retail price printed on the items." and have awarded some monetary compensation.

So, its been a good learning experience for me, a lot of hassle, a lot of time and energy spent as readers of this blog might well know, but well worth it in the end. BUT, it doesn't end here. If more and more people are not aware of this landmark judgment, its simply of no use. It doesn't change anything if people are not aware and don't fight for their rights. Last year I had promised readers of my blog that I would go after the MRP overcharging issue, and I've done that. Now its up to you to follow and use this judgment where you can.

I will try to publicize the judgment in whatever way I can. (I have relocated to Germany last month and I no longer stay in India, so my options are limited) I will put up a link to the actual judgment so that it is available to all. NakedDesserts in Bangalore is very generously helping me and if you'd like to help with this, please drop me a comment here or contact her on her page. Any help is appreciated, especially if you know media people who are willing to pick up this issue.

Continue reading Charging over MRP at airports - 13.