Who Has the Right of Way?
With a recorded population of 1.27 billion, you expect the streets should be crowded. BUT…
Many streets have no lanes marked, and if they do, it doesn’t seem to matter. A street with two lanes turns into a street with five lanes. Many corners have no traffic signals and everyone enters the intersection at once but somehow each makes it through. By the way, when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. No matter what your mode of transportation, you use the streets. Even when there is a sidewalk available, people walk in the street. As one Indian woman told me, “Sidewalks are not for walking.” The streets are used by cars, trucks, buses, rickshaws, motorbikes, bicycles, cows, dogs, and pedestrians (even those pulling a large cart).
Traffic signs and directions seem to be a suggestion rather than a law. On a one way street, you are sure to see someone going in the wrong direction. When a traffic light turns red, keep your eye open because not everyone is going to stop.
There is a lot of horn honking but no road rage. The honk simply signals other drivers that you are present so they don’t pull over on you. This is very helpful, as many motorbike drivers have no rear-view mirrors.