Another serious topic to ponder about driving conditions in Indian roads is lane driving, besides of course honking and high beam driving. Lane driving is something which either has to be properly taught to people or they have to be well educated to have some typical common sense towards driving. However, some people still have that common sense without being educated as well. When I was a kid, that time lane driving was hardly important as there hardly used to be any lanes what-so-ever. But now situations are different. In city almost all main roads have demarcated lanes. Highways have really improved and almost all 4 lane highways have properly demarcated lanes. Thus, it’s imperative that people know about lanes.
A lane is a division of the road which is 3.5 meters as per NHAI. If there are 2 lanes side by side without a road divider then it’s called a single lane road, although visually you will be able to spot 2 lanes side by side. Since only one lane is used to move in one direction hence it’s called a single lane road. However, if there is a road divider and on both sides of the road divider there are 2 lanes, then it’s called a 2 lane road although there would be 4 lanes combined on both side.
Coming to the basics, ideally a vehicle when moving on the road should stick to a single lane as far as possible. This I’m mentioning in Indian context. In the western world, there are completely different rules and some really strict rules for lane driving. But for starters like us, one needs to stick to one lane and keep his vehicles limited within the boundaries of that lane.
Surprisingly, I once overheard somebody saying that the line on the road should be kept in the middle of your vehicle. I don’t know who taught them that, probably they are descendants of pilots who take that line on the runway and keep the nose of the aeroplane on it. Well that is runway and that is surely an aeroplane. But when on the road with a car or a bike, all the vehicle tyres should be between the two lines of the lane. The moment your tyre is touching or crossing any of those lines, as per laws you are violating lane driving principle. In India, where there are no laws yet for lane driving, let’s just maintain our sanity and be conscious about our tyres and lanes on the road. If and when we are changing the lanes, just ensure no other vehicle is coming from behind, look into the rear view mirror and then change lanes. It will probably take 2 more seconds for you to change lanes, but it will help cultivate a good lane driving practice in this country and its countrymen.
If proper lane discipline is maintained the roads become so perfect to drive, any vehicle can so easily overtake the other one without any hassles. No need to honk while overtaking as well. Accident rates come down drastically, traffic becomes highly predictive. So many advantages with one small discipline, unfortunately in India, people have to come a long way to understand this fact.
Every day I see so many people in Hyderabad hitech city, driving their cars, with no idea where their tyres are running. These people are least bothered where the lane is and where the tyres are going. The problem is we have started taking our country as granted – “chalta hai” type attitude. Same IT crowd visits the western world so many times in their career. When the same people drive in the western world, they are completely aware of all rules of lane driving. They just don’t bother to follow the same discipline here, because there is no law enforcement mechanism, nobody is fined for doing this, hence people are least bothered and they don’t care - sorry state of affairs.
With traffic multiplying exponentially in every town and city and our inefficient government far behind all schedules of infrastructure management or plans, I believe it is high time we adopt some good practices, so that we can set some examples for our kids. Atleast when they grow up, they should be aware of what lane driving is.