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Rules of the Road

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Rules of the Road

People say there are no traffic rules in India, but that is not entirely true. I have observed a few, and try to abide by them as I ride my bicycles through the chaos:

1. As much as possible stay to the left side of the road. Although there are no official “lanes,” people should always walk far left, bicycles go around them, motorcycles and motor-rickshaws go around that, and cars take up the whole road and constantly block traffic.

Exceptions: when passing someone, avoiding potholes or cows, or making a right-hand turn, or if there is no on-coming traffic then just take over the whole road.

2.  Always announce your presence by blowing your horn, ringing bike-bell, etc.

Purposes: A) to let everyone know you are there. B) Ask them to stay left while you pass them. C) Also so you are not responsible if they step in front of you, because you warned them.

3. You are only responsible to not hit anyone in front of you. It is the responsibility of the people behind you to not hit you. So keep your eyes on the road in front of you.

Special circumstances:

  1. Intersections: Sort of look both ways as you go through the intersection, and stop if there is a fast moving vehicle (motorcycle), or someone bigger than you (car). Otherwise, only stop if you are going to hit someone on the side (like a “T”), but if someone is going to hit you from the side, they stop, because you were there first. So fight your way through that traffic!
  2. Making a right-hand turn off a busy road: It’s easiest to stay parallel with traffic and just merge across, (otherwise your bicycle completely blocks the road). Even though this method results in you in the middle of the wrong side of the road, it’s ok, everyone is used to just going around things, and eventually you work your way to the right side of the road, and then make your turn.
  3. Turning onto a busy road: Use same method as above – start on the wrong side and work your way across until you are on the right side.

Really traffic is like a carefully choreographed dance where everyone weaves in and out, and around, and gets to where they are going. Although it’s free-style so you just go with the flow, and sometimes come to an abrupt stop. For the most part I enjoy riding my bicycle and participating in traffic rather than just letting it pass me by.

Warning: Do not try driving like this outside of India!!

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any injuries resulting from your attempt to follow these rules, or your assumption that others will follow these rules.

They are really more like guidelines anyway…

Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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