Friday, July 11, 2008

You May Be Dead...

But Thank God it's not Fatal!

One might make the assumption from reading this sign that there have been no accidents whatsoever, in Bangalore in the past three years! One might also be led to believe that there are *Traffic Rules*... and that perhaps one's career potential might be fulfilled if one were to do the needful and FOLLOW THE DAMN RULES. Not only can you evade death, nonfatal or otherwise, but you can expect to climb the corporate ladder at high speed...

Convenient. Now, If only we knew what the rules might be...

Rules which can encompass the bus trying to run me off the road; the motorbike, weaving into and out of the smallest centimeter of space; the hugely colorful truck bearing down the wrong side of the road with apparent homicidal intent; the chai and chaat wallahs pushing their wheeled carts sloooowwwly yet industriously along; the bicycle bucket man, buckets stacked 8 feet wide; the traffic "cop" with his 10 gallon hat, wearing the dust and smog-avoiding surgeon's mask and collecting "tips" on the corner; the blessed cow lounging peacefully in the center of insanity; the small herd of goats, hungry pack of feral dogs, and ambitiously hopeful rooster hopping frantically from garbage pile to sewage sludge; the racketeered-child beggar performing tricks in the middle of traffic, the rickshaw man, who might-stop-if-he-hit-you, as long as you agree to visit his friend's, uncle's, sister's, cousin's shop which is going out of business and has everything marked down 100% just for YOU; over 8 million pedestrian out perambulating all at once (footpaths? Are you kidding? Let me know when you find one that's less dangerous than the road!) and me, being competitively driven about in my shiny Innova, leaning out of my car window, misguidedly attempting to photograph the "real" India!

The Fischers
confounded by signage...
in India

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, fellow Bangalore expat here!

It is funny how your traffic experiences matches mine.

There is somewhere on Old Madras road where you can see such a sign filled with numbers. I've never managed to actually read what it says, but seems like a lot of digits...

I did a search on the internet and found official statistics for 2005:
- Total for India: 110000
- New Delhi: 1,717 persons
- Chennai: 1,055
- Bangalore: 835
- Mumbai: 787

Half of the victims in Bangalore are pedestrians. Also, I believe these numbers are for the city only. I've seen the number 600 for Bangalore Rural.

Best Regards,
Lars.

The Fischers said...

Hi, to you! I'm really going to have to look for that sign! Thanks for the official stats. Given the number of people here...that's not too bad...I wonder if/how much those numbers have changed in the past few years???

Chandra

Anonymous said...

Hi Candra,
I found it! It's not on Old Madras, but on Bhaskaran Rd which goes parallel with Old Madras for a while. (Basically a detour from Old Madras, only it's quicker).
Go to google maps and search for RMZ Millenia.
The sign is on the aforementioned road approx. 100m east of RMZ.

Again, there are lots of digits on that sign. I believe it says some 980 dead in 2007 and 6000+ injured.

It's not too bad if you look at the population, but I guess this changes if you correct for amount of people owning cars, distance driven etc.

Best Regards,
Lars.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that should have been 100m WEST of RMZ.
So, if you're driving from the city towards the railway bridge this will be on the left side approx 100m before RMZ.