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    Thread: Does India deserve better, bigger roads?

    1. #1
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      Does India deserve better, bigger roads?

      Quote Originally Posted by anand_h View Post
      We don't have the discipline for an Autobahn. We take it as a birthright to drive vehicles. Whereas its a privilege to get to drive in Germany.

      In fact all these potholes, narrow roads and bottle-necks keeps the accidents lower than it could be. There are 410 reported fatalities on Indian roads every single day. That number would rise with our dumb driving on roads as flat and fast as the Autobahn.
      Actually I'd respectfully disagree with you. Most of the accidents happen due to poor road quality, unscientific speed breakers built on the highways, improper planning and execution.

      Some of us have traveled extensively all across India, and interesting thing to notice is that the road accidents have come down with the GQ and 4 lane roads. It reduces travel times and makes transport for heavy vehicles easy.

      Infact our authorities are pretty clueless in that they should plan properly and expand 4 lanes to 8 lanes right now. For starters, it helps acquire land right away instead of fighting court cases when they try to expand later on. Wider roads also improve FE since ur not always following other slower vehicles. Aids in quicker movement, more run off areas means even lesser accidents. But corruption won't allow this nation to plan ahead for the next decade or two.

      Are we ready for Autobahns? I think yes. There are a lot of responsible drivers out there. A lot us willing to pay a premium for using such roads. If it saves time and aids better FE.

      I can go on and on but this topic is for another thread

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      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      Actually I'd respectfully disagree with you. Most of the accidents happen due to poor road quality, unscientific speed breakers built on the highways, improper planning and execution.

      Some of us have traveled extensively all across India, and interesting thing to notice is that the road accidents have come down with the GQ and 4 lane roads. It reduces travel times and makes transport for heavy vehicles easy.

      Infact our authorities are pretty clueless in that they should plan properly and expand 4 lanes to 8 lanes right now. For starters, it helps acquire land right away instead of fighting court cases when they try to expand later on. Wider roads also improve FE since ur not always following other slower vehicles. Aids in quicker movement, more run off areas means even lesser accidents. But corruption won't allow this nation to plan ahead for the next decade or two.

      Are we ready for Autobahns? I think yes. There are a lot of responsible drivers out there. A lot us willing to pay a premium for using such roads. If it saves time and aids better FE.

      I can go on and on but this topic is for another thread

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      Respectful disagreements lead to healthy discussions and debate. And that's always a good thing.

      With the amount of kilometers I clock everyday, I have my fair share of experiences in the city and on the highway. And I observe reckless driving on super flat and wide highways on an extremely regular basis. So much, that I have stopped enjoying my drives. Because I am always on the look out.

      Reduction of travel time, reduction of fatigue, better FE. I agree to all of this. No doubts.

      However would having roads similar to autobahns reduce our road accidents. I highly doubt.

      Having lived in Germany for over two years, I can strongly comment that there is a stark difference in the road manners between India and Germany.

      The way Germans drive, you almost feel as if they are driving on rails. Perfect lane driving. Perfect use of indicators. Slower cars don't drive in all the lanes, and respectfully allow the faster car to overtake - No ego clashes here. One doesn't ever have to overtake from the wrong side. You don't have jaywalkers. You don't have vehicles driving on the wrong side. You don't have illegal parking. Cattle are not taken for a graze through the autobahns.

      Imagine all these typical issues we face, at speeds hovering above 150 kmph. Its suicidal.
      In fact almost every car I traveled in Germany on an Autobahn, the speeds were anywhere between 220-250 kmph.

      Although as you mentioned, we can take this to a different thread. Its always beneficial to hear both sides of the story.
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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by anand_h View Post
      With the amount of kilometers I clock everyday, I have my fair share of experiences in the city and on the highway. And I observe reckless driving on super flat and wide highways on an extremely regular basis.
      I guess we are all limited by your own experiences and what they've thought us in this life time.

      As a kid, I remember staying up all night with dad when he'd do Hubli-Bangalore highways runs and the amount of effort it took to drive on a 2-lane road was incredible and extremely unsafe. Specially with puny, underpowered cars, high beams hitting you in the face, I have seen countless people crash and die on the erstwhile NH4.

      That said, ever since ABV commissioned the GQ, the driving aspect for almost all involved has become a lot more stress free than it was. The number of accidents have reduced incredibly as well, even though the amount of vehicles have almost grown ten folds since.

      20yrs ago, driving from one end of the country to the other end was considered a huge achievement, only to be taken up by the best drivers in the prime of their health or limited to only the experienced truck drivers. Last March, we (3 Gearheads) drove from Bangalore-Calcutta-Bhutan-Calcutta-Rajasthan-Bombay-Bangalore. And when my dad heard this impromptu drive, he felt bad that back in the days he didn't have such opportunities to do such things because he loves driving too. That's how easy good roads have made commuting now. What was considered as a crazy idea 15yrs ago, 3 normal people could do it with zero planning and changing the next destination we were going towards based on our mood.

      Quote Originally Posted by anand_h View Post
      However would having roads similar to autobahns reduce our road accidents. I highly doubt.

      Having lived in Germany for over two years, I can strongly comment that there is a stark difference in the road manners between India and Germany.
      Since you've lived in Germany, you must also know that not the entire Autobahn sections are void of speed limits. It's only certain sections at certain hours of the day you are allowed to find out what the capabilities of your car are.

      As for our ability to maintain good road manners, I am more of a optimist in that regard. As much as I am sick and tired of the chaotic traffic in Bangalore myself, I haven't lost hopes to educate and teach the importance of following good road manners to all those I know, the importance of wearing seat belts and driving maturely. And I would humbly request everyone on such platforms to also do the same, start with education those near and dear to you. If we can't be bothered to put in an effort to bring about a change, I believe that we have no right to sit and complain. And like a wise man once said, Education first begins at home.

      Banning, regressive thinking has never helped any nation in this world in any aspect of life.

      Maybe you should join us for a drive sometime. Though I haven't travelled abroad much, those friends who have driven extensively in the USA/Europe still swear by the fact that India is one of the best places to "enjoy a drive"
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      I mean, we can't decide how to drive or build road infrastructure based on few "dumb" drivers on roads. Dumb drivers exist everywhere and till the time human genetics doesn't reach to a level to clone common sense as a default gene for all humans, we will continue to see "dumbs" everywhere in our life, including roads.

      Does speed kill? No. Careless driving does.

      People used to die in road accidents in 1970s too where the cars were definitely not as fast as they are now. People don't consider driving as birth right in India. India ranks 84th in car per capita. Iraq is 37th! List of countries by vehicles per capita - Wikipedia

      Half of the world's road traffic deaths occur among motorcyclists (23%), pedestrians (22%) and cyclists (5%) – i.e. "vulnerable road users" – with 31% of deaths among car occupants and the remaining 19% among unspecified road users
      In the list of countries with traffic related death rate, India is still better than Russia, Switzerland, China, Malaysia like countries. List of countries by traffic-related death rate - Wikipedia

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      Road safety is much more complicated subject in India compared to other countries. We definitely need better road infrastructure. Most of the roads don't even have the basic white/yellow markings which make it to extremely dangerous to drive in the night. Surfaces of many highways are can't be said safe enough. Once the works are started, they take forever to complete. Many highways still have unscientifically places legal/illegal divider cuts.

      One example I can state from my own experience is the NH8 highway being laid between Jaipur-Delhi. This is one of the most important stretch in India, busiest part of Delhi-Mumbai highway. Road widening of the existing 4 lane highway started some 6-7 years ago, but still pending. And worst part is whatever work is completed is not upto the mark. Surface is uneven and very dangerous to drive at high speed. Most of the road doesn't have white marking. No basic facilities or emergency services are established. It has got limited entry-exit lanes at toll booths which are always found busy due to heavy traffic.

      Some statistics:

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Source : http://pibphoto.nic.in/documents/rli.../p20166905.pdf












      Chennai has most accidents, Delhi deadliest

      Chennai accounted for 9% of all road accidents in 53 cities, followed by Delhi (9%) and Bengaluru (6%).

      Delhi (8%) and Jaipur (5%) had the largest number of deaths in road accidents, among 53 cities.

      Source : Three killed every 10 minutes: Road accident deaths in India up 9% in 4 years
      Last edited by Jack Sparrow; 9th Oct 2017 at 20:12.

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      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      those friends who have driven extensively in the USA/Europe still swear by the fact that India is one of the best places to "enjoy a drive"
      +1 for that. It is sad to see powerful cars driven lethargically under strict speed limits.
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      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      Maybe you should join us for a drive sometime.
      and never enjoy driving our own puny fart powered cars again. No thank you!!

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      Quote Originally Posted by anand_h View Post
      However would having roads similar to autobahns reduce our road accidents. I highly doubt.
      I get your point that morons can make accidents even on perfectly designed roads. But let me put down a small example to explain. Take the case of a blind curve on a 2 lane road with no median. If two good drivers take this curve in opposite sides sticking to their lanes, there is no cause for accident. However if either of them is a bad driver and comes in too fast and understeers, it will result in a head on collision. Now if the same road is widened to 4 lanes and a proper median is set up, the chances of a head on collision is greatly reduced. Now scale up this example and you will get the bigger picture. That said no infrastructure is foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

      Thorough education and stringent laws are still needed to make a cultural change, but they can only be implemented if we have a proper road infrastructure in place first.

      Quote Originally Posted by dragstar View Post
      and never enjoy driving our own puny fart powered cars again. No thank you!!
      It's not like that. I have been to their drives even in my puny Alto and it has only made me a better driver.

      Quote Originally Posted by matbhuvi View Post
      +1 for that. It is sad to see powerful cars driven lethargically under strict speed limits.
      +2. I have seen a lot of supercar owners in California having their funday sunday drive by revving the nuts out in 1st and 2nd gears. True enthusiasts hit the track though.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sparrow View Post
      Surface is uneven and very dangerous to drive at high speed.
      When a road is not safe for high speeds, why speed? Will it still be dangerous if you keep to the 80 km/hour speed limit?
      Europe has been building roads for a hundred years and they are still building. India is a huge country and it will take time and someone has to pay for it.

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      India absolutely deserves better and bigger roads.

      1. One of the key reasons is the amount of Road Tax/Life Time Tax we are paying when buying a new car. I just about 2.5L when I bought the Vento Last month. I am sure mclaren1885 paid twice as much on the Octavia RS. I don't want to guess how much money is that every month that a state is collecting. What are we getting in return?
      2. Cars are super expensive to buy in India compared to most countries like USA or even our neighbor Dubai. I had to take a small loan to buy a 15L rupee car in India. My peers at work in Dubai drive an Audi Q7 supercharged petrol without breaking a sweat. My peers in USA drive BMW M4. I am comparing people in the same company at the same level.
      3. India has zero public transport infrastructure. How many of us can go anywhere on a bus or a train? When was the last time you stepped into one? We need to invest in our roads. Look at what USA did with the Freeways. Look at Dubai. Even in India, look at Hyderabad. We certainly need them, we have the capability to build them, and we most certainly have the money to do so.
      4. Indian cars are generally unsafe and poor build quality (read tin cans). Most cars lack basic safety features like ABS or Airbags. So much so, some brands have an additional logo for these things on the boot, to announce ABS to the world like it is some out of the world feature that distinguishes the car from others. Cars are extremely underpowered, we are still living in an age of NA petrols, manual transmissions and slow/loud/polluting diesels. People risk their lives everyday on road to get to work and back. Let's not even talk about taking the family out for a long drive.

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