Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Learnings from American Traffic

Visiting from India, Here are a few observations of American Traffic Versus Indian Traffic
1. People follow rules, that includes putting on seat belts, baby seats, and obeying the traffic signals, people did not jump traffic signal even if there was no traffic coming the other way, whereas in India, people tend to start driving even before the yellow signal is turned on, and they definitely jump traffic if there is no oncoming traffic.
2. Politeness - people actually wait for the other car to pass before crossing a turn, they give high priority to pedesterians whereas in India there is a fight among the drivers to overtake the other car even after a signal has been given to take a turn, pedesterians are certainly not a priority with hardly a side walk, as sidewalks are encroached by hawkers. There is very less honking of vehicles unlike India.
3. No Animals on the road- In india you find the holy cow sitting in the middle of the road, the buffalow heard on the side of the road, the elephant, the camel and the bullockcart along with the traffic, even if you have a high end car like the Mercedes or Lexus in India, you still have to tail behind the slow cart.
4. Very less dents to be seen on the cars.
5. Neatness - No litter to be seen on the road, people do not throw litter from the vehicles or on the road side, the road sides have beautiful mowed grass throughout the highway.
6. Well planned roads - the roads seem to be made of steel, I wonder if the Road Engineers are not as corrupt as the Engineers and Contractors in India, because the roads are huge - some have 4 lanes one way, and 4 lanes the other way with no potholes. The road is well planned with exits, by pass and flyovers with No Buildings or Roads to be seen just besides the road, In India the Houses and buildings encroach on the Road, which makes me wonder if there are not such rules to prevent that or that the Government is either so inefficient or too corrupt.
7. Honesty - The people here try to follow traffic rules, pay tolls and do not try to bribe. I asked a few of my friends ( atleast half a dozen of them) who reside here and asked what happens to them if they get caught by the american cops, do they give chai pani (bribe) like India or they pay the fines. They told me that paying bribe is not an option and would get them into more trouble.

From the few observation that I have seen above, I would like to summarize that a Great Nation like America is at it's present level because of the Hard Work , Accountability and Honesty of it's Patriotic citizens who try to do their Work Honestly to the best Quality with regards to Road Construction and Law and Order, which I am sure would these qualities would be carried on to other fields too.

On the other hand, a developing country like India has lots of lesson to learn, It's The Corruption and inefficiency of the construction of the Commonwealth Games Venues, the A Raja Spectrum Telecom Scamm etc, the list is too long for this blog. With regards to Road construction, they try to build the road so that it's good enough only for 1 year till the next monsoon so that they get a contract to repair it the next year. With regards to law and order, and honest cop may not have much option but to follow orders from corrupt politicians which may not be to his conscience . Indians as a whole have a long way to go before it lets go of it's Me First Mentality, and not care of the rest of the community mentality, because unless the Community develops, and Individual cannot develop.

In India, in a majority of the houses, you have to remove your shoes to Enter a house, whereas you would not mind throwing your garbage outside the walls of your House. In America (USA), there are no compound walls between most houses, you have to throw your garbage in recycle and non recycle bin and put it before your house, you have to mow your lawn and keep your surroundings clean or else you are fined. This makes the whole country clean, if you go out of your house in India for a day, your shoes is dusty and your collar brown but in the US, your shoes does not become dusty because the whole society tries to be clean, you do not have to take off your shoes when you go to others house.

Unless all the people of India follow a few of these hard lessons from the developed countries, it will remain a developing country which will not be respected by any Country. It is difficult to be patriotic of a corrupt and inefficient country.


  1. a heart out of piece of writing...salutation to your good observation on US traffic and India traffic...keep up the good writing...

  2. So, Mizo traffic is quite similar to American traffic huh? :)

  3. I was trying to compare it more with big cities in India like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi etc, but Drivers in Mizoram are pretty courteous.

  4. Ziak bengvarthlak hle mai.

    Kan awmna a kilkhawr ai khian Mizoram motor khalh te khi an polite in an tlawmngai phian a sin. Traffic rule zawm chungchangah ngat phei chuan zia tak a ni. Northeast ah na na na chuan a tha ber in ka hria (sikkim hi an strict a, NE ah ka chhiar ve tlat si lo va). Khawpui lianah chuan enforcement a chak a, a nasa bawk. Keini chu kan la fel nge, kan la tha nge, Pathian remruat ni zawk pawh ka hre lo.

  5. You are comparing what I consider is incomparable! American traffic and Indian traffic! India is a developing country and to place ourselves in line with the Americans may not be appropriate and acceptable. But, yes Indian drivers do have a lot to learn from our American brothers in terms of cleanliness, politeness, honesty and obedience etc! I really appreciate what you have written! Thumbs up!

  6. Tluang, i thlalak a nalh hlawm lutuk, places thlalak rawn post teuh rawh...common lo deuh deuh...tourist tlawh thrin spot vel chu ninawm...hetiang traffic lamte hi bengvar thlak, i ti thra lutuk...

  7. If one passes the written (computerized) exams and road test conducted by Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the United States, one can safely say they will not make mistakes on the road. It is a very tough test to crack. In India, we get licenses without proper training and test, therefore, we have drivers who follow no traffic rules. Not because we don't want but because rules are not taught and applied properly. Pedestrians have the right-of-way in the U.S., not necessarily because drivers are courteous. They can be sued if they deliberately speed up while pedestrians are crossing the intersections, etc for any reason. And the drivers' road record are computerized. Every mistake one makes is recorded. And there is punishment for the same. Therefore, most people becomes law abiding citizens, at least rules are kept well and order is maintained that way. India has a long way to go! Thanks for sharing the pix.

  8. @ Maisek - thanks for the comments, but I believe we must benchmark ourselves with the best, then we atleast have a goal and atleast reach halfway :-)
    @ Beita - the Motor Vehicle test book is very good, I have read it and gone through it. I only wish that this book was compulsory test for all Indian drivers with effective implementation of rule of law without corruption by our cops, I might also like to add that we need better & bigger roads with the growing population of vehicles on our undeveloped roads, but then we can only wish, but then I sometimes feel Indian roads are like Anarchy :-), but we can still dream on...