The Right Turn – Prologue

I, like most of my friends who have to drive in Indian cities, am a frustrated and stressed guy every morning and evening. Simply because of the utter chaos on the roads. Specially after I returned from about 11 month stay in beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, this frustration and stress reached new highs as I had first hand experience of the orderly and disciplined traffic. Over past few years although I have become accustomed to the traffic conditions here, the effect of disciplined traffic is etched on my mind.

Few days back one of my friends Sonali blogged about her views on the traffic situation here and how to take it in lighter vein. Even at that time I commented that we should start resisting it rather than just talking about it and treat it as normal or characteristic of India. To help that I am starting a series of posts to right about something I have observed and hopefully all the readers would have.

The right turn (as India drives on left hand side of the road) is a series about showcasing various patterns Indian drivers follow and probable reasons of why they do it that way. Once I started working on this I found so many variations in the right turn based on the importance/ width of the roads, the vehicle you are driving, type of crossing etc. I do not want to educate or give advice on what one should do, but I wanted to put down what is the “Right” way to turn right and I will start with that. Here is some verbose description:

If you are taking a right turn then there is an imaginary circular/ elliptical arch from the right side corner of the junction with radius upto middle of the road. You should follow this arch to take the turn. On crossings without traffic signals person on the right side (who came before you) gets right of way. You follow a clock wise pattern for the right of way. Even if you are on the right side if the person on the left has been there before you, you give him way.  If there is no dedicated lane for the right turn, you should give indicator much in advance so that the person behind you wanting to go straight gets chance to change the lane and go without stopping behind you.

Here is the standard right turn. Going forward, I plan to show case variations of how Indians take right turn completely wrongly. You are most welcome to send me your observations.

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