To drive on Delhi roads is a near-death experience. Those who try to follow the rules usually find that this is a hair-raising experience. Try sticking to your lane and you will find a thousand revving cars edging you out of the way while honking murderously. The Delhi High Court seems to think that money — or rather, forcing drivers to part with a large chunk of it for violating traffic rules — will make road rogues see sense. But it reckons without the innate ability of the Delhiite to rush in where angels fear to tread. No law, howsoever well-meaning, can get the better of him. If you frame it, we flout it, that is the motto of the capital city. Do not litter, do not spit, do not tease women. All these are taken as challenges by the average Delhiite to cock a snook at the law.
Look what happened when the traffic police tried to enforce a rule that every motorbike rider, and those on the pillion must wear helmets. From plastic hats to baseball caps, the Delhiite’s imagination was in full flow. Women were content with wrapping a dupatta around their heads and pillion riders recklessly threw all caution to the winds. Woe betide the constable who dares to issue a challan to offending drivers. Chances are that the offender is a VIP. His response to the hapless policeman will be, “Do you know who I am?” This usually has a fearsome effect on the constable who cringes in fear at the thought of future repercussions. And on we go merrily breaking all traffic rules.
Then, there are also the vile jokes floating around that increasing the fine for violations will only result in people having to shell out larger bribes to the traffic cops. Bribery is an offence but we will find a way around that in our usual innovative manner.