Self Imposed Traffic discipline
I am sure many of us have experienced bitter and tensed traffic maneuvers
almost on an hourly basis. The unruly traffic, the ill-disciplined vehicle drivers, the careless cops monitoring the roads, the traffic signals that never work added to the ever so free cattle roaming on the roads have all added to the long winding vehicular snarls.
Have anyone wondered that these could be very well be avoided as most are within our control, which could be very well exercised very prudently and judiciously.
During one of my visits to the US, I had a chance encounter of the rarest of rare instances of the traffic lights failing in a four way crossing junction in Austin Texas, during one of those peak hours. To top it all there was not a single cop and yet the traffic flow was very smooth. How it worked may not be easy to put in words, but yet I have tried to put it in a way that I hope people would understand and implement. As the signal stopped, all vehicles stopped at their respective junction points. One vehicle from each direction started moving in a cyclic manner taking turns. This ensured that every one had their turns and the flow resumed in a smooth manner.
Now coming to our traffic behavior, what do we do, all vehicles in one direction at the first available opportunity move, blocking all other vehicular movement, blocking and chocking the junction leading to traffic coming to almost a stand still. People fail to realise that in their urgency to move forward quickly are only creating more delays.
Take another instance. We do have lanes and by-lanes across the road anywhere in the world. A discipline that is followed in the US is that, whenever there is a queue of vehicles, a clear gap is left for vehicles coming from the opposite direction to turn into the lane, there by preventing a blockage of vehicles in the opposite direction as well because the vehicle cutting across has a clear passage to turn in.
What do we do, we provide no such gaps and the traffic in the opposite direction also stops as the vehicle which wants to turn into the lane is waiting for gap to be freed, which is never given resulting in stoppage of vehicles in that direction, more so because most of our roads are narrow.
Iam sure these are a few lessons that we can learn and implement, easing traffic tension to some extent.