Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why there are not more traffic accidents in India

I had no clue, that in crowded urban Indian cities, when someone gets in a traffic accident, the driver of the larger vehicle is subject to "mob rules" - beaten, bludgeoned, often killed, depending on the severity of the traffic accident. Senior Co-workers were discussing their close calls with angry mobs after different minor traffic accidents. The news has some really nasty reports as well.

Perhaps it is the same reason why there's little theft in Saudi Arabia - if your hand gets cut off, you think twice before taking what does not belong to you. Here in India, every driver must maintain absolute vigilance in a 360 degree perspective, looking for the millions of motorcycles, cars, buses, three wheelers, pedestrians, mopeds, lorries, and bicycles that vaguely, or generally, follow a loose set of traffic rules - Very un-British of them, divorced from Colonial rule entirely. Hit someone, even accidentally, and you could / probably will lose your life. As you stop to see if they are ok, the mob closes in around you. I am SO GLAD I am not driving!

In China, where there's no democracy and totalitarian rule has kept the masses quietly down, they don't inviscerate a driver. She just pays off the local authorities and there's little risk of losing one's life.

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I read an account of an accident in India in the book "Shantaram". Crazy stuff!! Great book too, you would probably enjoy having been there. Its a true story too :)


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