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Rules of the Roads - Indian Style

Traveling on Indian Roads is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable — and, when you are on the roads it's extremely dangerous.

Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on a Sanskrit text. These rules of the Indian road are published for the first time in English:

ARTICLE I: The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

ARTICLE II: Indian traffic, like Indian society,is structured on a strict caste system. The following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to:
heavy trucks,
official cars,
light trucks,
private cars,
pedal rickshaws,
bicycles (goods-carrying),
bicycles (passenger-carrying),

ARTICLE III: All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat. This is the Indian drivers' mantra.

ARTICLE IV: All man oeuvres, use of horn and evasive action shall be left until the last possible moment.

ARTICLE V: In the absence of seat belts (which there is) car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds. These should be kept fastened at all times.

Rights of way: Traffic entering a road from the left has priority. So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle.

Lane discipline (VII,1): All Indian traffic at all times and irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the center of the road.

ARTICLE VII: Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic islands in the middle of crossroads have no traffic management function. Any other impression should be ignored.

ARTICLE VIII: Overtaking is mandatory, Every moving vehicle is required to overtake every other moving vehicle, irrespective of whether it has just overtaken you. Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in the face of oncoming traffic, on blind bends, at junctions and in the middle of villages/city centers. No more than two inches should be allowed between your vehicle and the one you are passing — and one inch in the case of bicycles or pedestrians.

ARTICLE IX: Nirvana may be obtained through the head-on crash.

ARTICLE X: Reversing: no longer applicable since its a matter of pride as no one will be ready to reverse his/her vehicle.