Traffic incident…and follow-up

As a departure from the usual topics on Metroblogs, I thought I would describe an incident of rash driving and the follow up that a friend of mine, Bharat Patil, described to me.

Place: Marathahalli

Date:27th June (Wednesday)

Time: About 8:00AM

The details of the vehicle are:

Tempo Traveller, License plate: KA 02 AA 8298

The phone numbers written on the vehicle (to contact in the event of rash driving) were: 98459 6797_ , 9845_ 15196 (98451 15196 was the correct one)

The company for which the vehicle was being driven: Aricent.

As my friend was driving to office, a tempo traveler overtook him, and made a strong right turn to cut in front of his vehicle, with inches to spare. Then he continued to drive like that for nearly 3kilometers, cutting across other motorists ,and changing lanes at least 10 times without taking due precaution. He was hardly keeping any distance from the vehicles in front of him and using his horn to bully people out of the way. Itwas obvious that the driver was generally driving very rashly.

The vehicle had one of those “call this number if the driver is driving rashly” messages on the back, and the co-passenger,Shilpa, quickly noted them down. However, when my friend tried both the cell phone numbers, he realized that 1 digit was missing from each! Not to be fazed by this, my friend patiently dialed through the possible numbers (the second one, obviously, would have only ten possibilities) and finally got through.

The person at Aricent who answered the phone listened patiently to what my friend had to say and promised that some action would be taken. My friend also informed about the digits being missing from the telephone numbers painted on the back of the obvious effort to see that feedback could not be given.

My friend does not know what action, if any has been taken; busy people cannot spare the time and the energy to keep following up on this. He had enough civic sense to keep trying all the numbers until he found the right one and made his complaint in tthe proper quarters.

So…will Aricent call back with news of action taken? How many such drivers of vehicles are going around with invalid numbers for feedback on the backs of their vehicles, making a farce out of the feedback system? Goodness knows!

9 Comments so far

  1. Anon (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

    Everyday saga… Only this time your friend took pains to give a feedback.

    I find all yellow-board vehicle drivers breaking rules at will and not bothering about their own vehicle or other vehicles/pedestrians on road.

    For a start, we should have the ‘speed governor rule’ enforced, with immediate effect.

  2. silkboard (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

    I have called these numerous times. some does pick up and note down vehicle details. But as you say, no way to follow up if they really did something.

    I have done more than calling as well. Like not giving way to a Qualis when it was coming the wrong way to avoid the usual jam before Marathahalli bridge towards the city. Ended up in a fight, and guys behind honked crazy as if I were the culprit.

    No one has the time and patience. You and me can’t do much by calling numbers and fighting small battles.

  3. psj (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

    I agree with Silkboard.I too take the hard way to discipline drivers.Once they overtake u from left and try to cut in front.let them do it..but make sure i give it back to them in the next junction.
    Risky,but makes them think twice..

  4. Karthik (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    Have tried calling such numbers couple of times, mostly land up nowhere. Once, I was so annoyed with a call center vehicle overtaking me in the most bizarre way possible that I stopped my car in the corner and jotted down the numbers and called them immediately. They said they’ll inform the driver. Frankly, after that I didn’t quite know how to react or what to do – regardless of whether they mean it or not :-)

    Today morning, incidentally, found another version of this. I was trying to cross from the service lane outside St Francis school in Koramangala 3rd block, into the road. The 8th main road was chock-a-block and I waited for some kind of respite before I can make my move. There was a large tempo kinda thing full of cops, behind my car. After the mandatory few seconds of wisdom, the cop driver started honking non-stop, perhaps trying to indicate that I just need to barge into the road and bulldoze my way. I refused and waited. Then he started getting abusive and a few of the other cops started to shout too from the windows. It was maha disturbing to see them make a silly scene like that.

    The threshold of patience in this city is perhaps at an all time low. I find it true almost every morning, particularly in Koramanagala.

  5. silkboard (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

    sorry for that typo in last comment “some one” does pick up …”

    @ Karthik, you are right sir. It is at a low.

    Though I have toned things down (after hearing really bad road rage stories), I still do things to annoy the offenders. Like not letting a cab squeeze through from left by fully occupying the lane. Not succumbing to honks when stopped on a red signal (like you did). Making life a bit annoying for those who drive on the wrong side.

    Sometimes I think hey, what’s the point in doing these childish things, I am only working my anger up. Putting up with everything is better. But then, sometimes I think what if we all did our bit to annoy these folks – would that make them behave? Don’t these cabs and impolite drivers all take advantage of our niceties!?

    Don’t know. Just can’t make up my mind.

  6. Karthik (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

    Silkboard: Actually, I used to do a lot of such stuff to make life hell for traffic offenders when one day after a long session of that, I finally let the offender overtake me. It was a white innova who had been behaving rather bad all over the road. Just when it overtook me, the driver looked at me and laughed. I wanted to pull over and punch that nut but all that I could muster in that moving traffic is a harmless gesture with my fingers (you know what!). And, he laughed at me even more. And, like any true crusader, my blood boiled :-)

    That day it dawned on me that its me who loses everything – peace of mind, predominantly – by turning into a road-rules vigilante. And then, I turned into a new leaf and formulated my own set of rules for courting courtesy on Bangalore roads. The first tenet of my courting courtesy blog is, ‘jaane do yaar’! These days I let all these nuts pass, *but*, I dramatically and theatrically move towards the left and completely stop my car, roll down my windows and gesture him to overtake me, with a very polite smile – whenever traffic and time permits. You should see the look on these guys faces when I do that! Priceless. At least thinking about that, they drive slowly.

  7. silkboard (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

    Ah, I have done that exact same thing 4-5 times. A very aggressive Zen got me started. Honking left, swerving right, it just wanted to climb over me. and I did it, stopped, rolled down the window, and gestured “pahle aap” in true Lucknow-ee style. Except on one occasion when the guy showed me his fist and ran away, drivers paused and seemed to say sorry!

    We got to meet Karthik :) I still remember your distributing poster/placard idea.

  8. Bharat (unregistered) on July 5th, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    I don’t think giving it back to the offenders, meaning trying to teach them a lesson, right on the road is a good idea. You never know who is inside, for all you know it might turn out to be the worst encounter of your life. So that is definitely not a good idea.
    The other way of letting them pass in Lucknow style is probably much better but it doesn’t solve any problem…

    Someone above said “the patience in this this city is low”. I totally agree with that and I just wonder why. I have seen guys with full families and childeren in the car drive like crazy, losing their patience and using offensive language right there and then…that is just out right strange.

    Another character in Bangalore I find maha crazy is the guy who takes out his kid on a joy ride, letting the kid sit on his lap between him and the steering wheel…

  9. TransportDesk, Aricent (unregistered) on July 13th, 2007 @ 7:48 pm

    Hi Deepa….We are grateful for your feedback, thanks.
    We have, of course, taken corrective actions based on your feedback in this instance, and have also fine-tuned the existing checks & balances to deal with such issues.

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