Driving manners here (in KL) and there (in India)

It amazes me to see the difference in driving manners in Malaysia and India. We are so used to incessant honking, cars weaving from lane to lane, trying our best to prevent pedestrians from crossing over and all manner of mayhem on the roads that we sometimes forget that normal drivers do not drive that way. I do not remember about Bangladesh, but even in Nepal and Sri Lanka among the South Asian countries are drivers not such louts as in India. And here in Malaysia they follow all the decencies that are normal among drivers worldwide. Drivers slow down at zebra crossings to allow pedestrians to cross, they do not start honking dementedly if the driver in front of them slows down for some reason or does not zoom off the blocks as soon as the light turns green. I have not seen n abusive driver yet and nor have I seen drivers yelling insults in the road at others in the time I have been here..
It is sometimes difficult to believe that Indians are inheritors of a 5000 year old civilization when we observe their driving habits. The behaviour is more akin to animals who have learnt a human skill and do not know how to use it. I was flabbergasted to see that I could travel from Rome to London without once hearing a car horn, but I was even more surprised that even in Asia we have countries where driving decently is possible and people do it. The chaotic Indian roads are not natural and can be changed. If it can happen in Malaysia it can happen in India.
There are difficulties In Indian roads that Malaysian or European roads do not have. The mixing of all forms of traffic, slow, medium, fast and crawling, that is normal in India does not exist elsewhere. There are no cows in the roads here , nor are bicycles, rickshaws and cycle vans part of the usual traffic on the roads. The roads are wide, in the main, without potholes and traffic signals work. The highways are state of the art, not the potholed apologies that pass for roads at least in the eastern part of India.
But even so! Is it really impossible that drivers in India follow at least some of the rules of the road? Is it impossible that we behave behind the wheel the way we behave at home with our family? There was a campaign, I remember to educate motorists to refrain from showing road rage. It does not seem to have had much of an effect. However if we are to become a developed country by 2020 or 2120 as seems more likely, we have to learn to drive the way the world does.
Having said that, I must admit that most of the misbehaviour and road rage stems from the frustrations of driving on substandard roads which are not inadequate for the amount of traffic that flows down them. To have world class drivers it is necessary to have some world class roads as well. Even so, a little attention to behaviour both on the part of pedestrians and drivers can make driving on Indian roads a less horrific experience.

If the ASEAN countries can do it, so perhaps can we.


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