Saturday, October 21, 2000
G O O D  M O T O R I N G

Lane driving is sane driving
By H. Kishie Singh

THE slogan says ‘lane driving is sane driving’ but if we were to judge the drivers on the road it would be abundantly evident that suicidal maniacs have been given driving licences and let loose on the roads.

The accompanying photograph shows the chaos that resulted due to the mindlessness of drivers at a railway crossing, where four lanes of traffic face four lanes from the other direction. In the photograph, the smallest vehicle, a three-wheeler scooter rickshaw, is on the extreme right hand side of the road. He faces the oncoming traffic — a huge bus and a truck — and is solely responsible for the traffic jam. He must have wriggled his way to the right when the traffic was at a standstill. On an open highway with moving traffic, this could have been suicidal.This traffic jam is of our own making !

This is not lane driving. This is not sane driving. Often the owner of the car is a passenger in the car. While the driver is up to his antics, overtaking from the left, crossing solid lines, driving dangerously, the owner quietly swallows all that the driver dishes out. Possibly the owner knows less about traffic rules than the driver. Neither is any thought paid to safety and road etiquette, nor is any courtesy shown to other road users. If we would stick to our lanes, our roads would be safer, and the traffic would move faster.


If you keep to the single file in your lane, you will move, albeit at a snail’s pace. Break that single file and you will come to a dead halt.

Theoretically we have four lanes of traffic on a road. Two, if the road is narrow. In any case even if the road has no markings, mentally divide the road in half. One half for allowing the traffic to flow each way. More often than not, there will be a dotted white line or a solid yellow line. Under no circumstances should your tyres cross this solid yellow line. Consider this to be a concrete road divider, not to be crossed. If you cross this solid line, you will face the oncoming traffic. This can be dangerous for you, as well as your passenger, and your car. Plus it will disrupt the smooth flow of traffic. As already mentioned, it is safer, smarter and smoother to move along in a single file than to attempt an overtake and risk life and limb.

Often you come across "No Overtaking" signs. Obey them. They are carefully-thought-of instructions and are primarily meant for your safety. They also regulate the flow of traffic.

Cars don’t make traffic snarls. It is the drivers. Indiscipline, aggressiveness, lack of road etiquette make for unsafe driving and make driving a difficult and unpleasant chore.

Drive sanely, safely and smoothly, and motoring will be a delightful experience. It will also give you better fuel average.

Pay attention to and obey traffic instructions. Learn to be a law-abiding citizen and a good driver.

Happy motoring!