These "rules of the road" apply pretty much anywhere in the developing
world. They brought hair-raising rides back to memory. Enjoy!

Rules of the road, 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.
Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on a
Sanskrit text. These 12 rules of the 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 take place at all
times. In descending order, give way to: cows, elephants, heavy
trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, jeeps, ox-carts,
cars, motorcycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws,
goats, bicycles (goods-carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.
ARTICLE III: All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the
maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to admit defeat. This is the
Indian drivers' mantra.
ARTICLE IV: Use of horn (also known as the sonic fender or aural amulet):
CARS 1. Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, i.e. in clearing dogs,
rickshaws and pedestrians path. 2. Long blasts (desperate) denote
supplication, i.e. to oncoming truck: "I am going too fast to stop so
unless you slow down we shall both die". In extreme cases this may be
accompanied by flashing of headlights (frantic). 3. Single blast
(casual) means: "I have seen someone out of India's 950 million whom I
know" or "There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go
through my windscreen" or "I haven't blown my horn for several minutes."
TRUCKS AND BUSES All horn signals have the same meaning, viz: "I have an
all-up weight of approximately 12.5 tons and no intention of stopping,
even if I could." This signal may be emphasised by the use of headlights.
(Article IV remains subject to the provision of the Order of Precedence
in Article II above)
ARTICLE V: All manuevers, use of horn and evasive action shall be left
until the last possible moment.
ARTICLE VI: In the absence of seat belts (which there is), car occupants
shall wear garlands of marigolds. These shall remain fastened at all times.
ARTICLE VII: 1. Rights of way: Traffic entering a road from the left has
priority. So has traffic from the right, and also traffic from the
middle. 2. Lane discipline (VII, I): All Indian traffic at all times and
irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the center of the road.
ARTICLE VIII: Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic
islands in the middle of crassroads have no traffic management function.
Any other impression should be ignored.
ARTICLE IX: Overtaking is mandatory. Every moving vehicle is required to
overtake every other moving vehicle, particularly if it has just
overtaken you.
Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in
the face of oncoming traffic, around 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 X: Reversing: no longer applicable since no vehicle in India has
reverse gear.

Courtesy of TGIF

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