Ways to avoid traffic challans in India
I think one of the primary reasons for this mess is that Indian infrastructure, speed limit enforcement technology and traffic challan amounts are slowly inching towards global standards (especially Delhi NCR) but laws are still archaic and the speed limits truly ridiculous.
BHPian warrioraks recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Let me start off by calling out very clearly that the idea of this thread is not to promote illegal practices in any way.
What triggered the post was my recent experience with traffic department and general sentiment on the forum that challans are aggressively being issued throughout the country. Just go through this recent thread by ‘Emvi’ if you want to read about the experiences of our forum members and you will know in an instant what I am talking about.
Although government’s efforts to bring some sanity on the roads is appreciable. But at the same time, it seems that the speed limits and the implementation of traffic laws is turning out to be a big mess. There is a growing perception that government’s intention is to squeeze out people’s bank balance rather than deterrence and road safety. Giving up, most of us have accepted the challans as cost of driving in the country (what other option do we have anyways?). I think one of the primary reasons for this mess is that Indian infrastructure, speed limit enforcement technology and traffic challan amounts are slowly inching towards global standards (especially Delhi NCR) but laws are still archaic and the speed limits truly ridiculous. This is leading to a situation where enforcing compliance to a badly drafted law is turning out to be as bad as not enforcing a good law. A quick look at the steep fines we have in Delhi for a few common traffic offenses.
Yours truly was challaned recently for doing 70 km/hour on one of the best roads in Delhi. Since that day, I have been extra cautious not to giveaway the remainder of my hard earned money to the government (~50% of it still goes to them through direct or indirect taxes).
Here are a few things I have tried over the past couple of months which seem to have worked for me. These might be trivial for many but I hope atleast some folks find it useful.
Being extra aware about board signages – The old me would not even pay attention to speed signs and other boards. In hindsight, this was not a good practice and the transformed me makes sure I now actively lookout for traffic signages.
Carrying vehicle documentation everywhere – In the past, I would only bother about having license on me but that does not make the cut anymore. I now make sure I have the RC, PUC, insurance, license with me all time when I am on the road. I have also installed Mparivahan app on my phone with license and RC downloaded in offline mode as an extra precaution. The app is pretty slick till the time is working. The paranoid me now also has a copy of the important documents on google drive in case Mparivahan app throws tantrums.
RadarBot app for speed camera alerts – Now I am not related to this app in any way but I find it very useful. The app practically alerts you on the presence of speed traps few hundred metres in advance. It is pretty accurate hitting the mark nearly 70-80% of times and this has been a game-changer for me.
Undoing customizations – I am not a big fan of customizations but my bike had a non-stock silencer. Not the loud ones you get from Karol Bagh but a sweet exhaust note emitting piece of metal I got couriered from Bangalore. Gurgaon cops are happy to fine you 10k for anything that does not come from the RE showroom and going back to the stock silencer was the hardest thing I had to do for avoiding penalties.
Collateral damage – My city bike travel has gone down and I am keen to pick the car more often now.
Extensive use of cruise control – Until recently, I thought of cruise control only as a highway thing. But driving an iVtec and staying within 50 or 60 km/hour on the finest roads of the country is really really tough (impossible I mean). On top of that, being a spirited driver does not help. As a solution to my ‘pedal to the metal’ philosophy/problem, I have taken to extensive use of cruise control within city. It helps by keeping my feet off the accelerator and minimizing chances of accidental overspeeding. Who knew cruise control could be a solution for city driving in India?
Calm mind – I have found this as the most effective way to beat the eyes of our law enforcers. A calmer mind really helps you keep the fort, especially when you see other people brazenly breaking the law – wrong side driving, over-speeding, rash lane-changing, etc.
My new mantra is – Keep Calm and Drive on.
Knock on the wood, I have been able to stay on the right side of the law with these hacks. BHPians – if you have some tricks up your sleeve, then do share!
DISCLAIMER: All pictures sourced from Google.
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