Driving standards in India


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I was not sure where I should post this. Since there is no category for this important topic, in this forum.

A little about myself. I am in my mid 50's. I have been driving / riding vehicles since 1974, the year I got my driving license. I taught myself these skills by watching my father drive (he learnt to drive from a book) as well as the drivers who used to drive for my fathers govt. department. By the way my father is now 89 yrs old and has stopped driving due to his age. I live in Madras (Chennai as it is known now). I commute to work on a 2 wheeler. A Yamaha FZ. I also own a car a Chevy Spark dual fuel Petrol/LPG.

I have had one major accident in 1979 in New Delhi which I fortunately survived without serious injury. I must point out that I was wearing a helmet which saved my life.

First things first. India has the highest death rate from road accidents in the world.


Though the above article talks about 'drunken' driving being a cause, I beg to submit that there is more to it than that. People who drive vehicles in this country and especially these days have no training whatsoever. The driver training regime for India are woefully inadequate and actually licenses drivers who are inadvertent killers. They have no idea that driving is a highly skilled accomplishment that requires knowledge and experience. To top this the punishment's for infringing the rather lax implementation of road rules is non-existent. Instead of imposing punitive fines and or withdrawing licenses the traffic law enforcement is something most people laugh off. Except that they could die laughing because a absolutely incompetent driver turned right despite the traffic light at that junction was red and required stopping. He did so since he has done so many a time with local traffic police constable manning / monitoring the junction did not stop him or penalise him for doing so. The gist of my write up is that licensing of drivers for vehicles should be stringent. All and sundry should not be able to acquire a license with minimum effort or connivance. Punitive fines and cancellation of licenses for road rule violations and causing killer accidents is a must. World class auto infrastructure should be provided by the Govt. if they are going to continue allowing the unbridled increase in vehicle population. Also all automobile related industries and service providers should be roped in to support a campaign for safe driving awareness. This should be purveyed via the media both print, audio and video. I would like the video media to take up this campaign with support from the auto industry as well as auto related service providers to bring down the disaster on our roads.

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