Home > Travel > Give me the horn, please

Give me the horn, please

I’m glad I don’t drive. If I did, then I would have the option of hiring a car for travelling in India. As I noted shortly after getting here, road traffic resembles pedestrian traffic in its apparent chaos. Drivers weave around other vehicles and through available gaps with little regard for lane markings.

The other main feature of traffic is the blowing of horns. The drivers do it all the time – sometimes literally just holding down the horn continuously. They use the horn as an auditory equivalent of indicator lights – the drivers parp and honk to let other road-users know they’re there. Many vehicles – autorickshaws, buses, trucks etc – actually have messages painted on the back like ‘Horn please’.

I can see that there is definitely some value in this practice on busy city roads. Drivers take it to excess, though, when they blow their horns at a solitary cyclist or pedestrian on an otherwise empty stretch of road. It kind of reminds me of Hyacinth Bucket’s passenger seat driving: ‘Mind the pedestrian, Richard.’ ‘What pedestrian?’ ‘The one on the pavement.’ (‘Pavement’ = ‘sidewalk’ – just to patronise (or patronize) any passing North Americans.)

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Categories: Travel
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