About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

03 March 2015

Navigating Kolkata Traffic

Except for major roads, which have clearly defined pedestrian crossings, navigating traffic in India can be an experience on its own.

Cars, busses, trucks, bicycles, rickshaws, auto(rickshaw)s, motorbikes and pedestrians seem to have a complicated dance where they all seem to flow together. There is a cacophony of hooting from the various vehicles and the occasional cursing (usually of a smaller vehicle/pedestrian against a larger vehicle) although I didn't see any of these escalate to anything more.

In all of this, all parties just seem to flow past, in slow steps. Pedestrians do not wait, they just cross - vehicles seem to give way, one way or the other. Likewise, vehicles are often passing each other, often across what would be the opposing direction. Almost all vehicles preach about "following the rules of the road", none seem to actually do so.

Remarkably, I didn't see a single accident, but that is not to say that they don't happen. But the relatively slow speeds (cars seem to average about 30 Km/h) means that it is relatively easy to stop. Travel times are therefore long, and frustrating.

I haven't driven a car in India, and I don't think I want to. Being a passenger or a pedestrian is scary enough.

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