IMG00090 You are driving at a speed of 110 km/hr on the highway. It is a newly constructed highway with four lanes! The lanes are clearly marked with white paints Every two kilometers, you see markers announcing the distance between you and the next major town! Encouraged by the markers  to reach the next big city sooner, you push harder on the gas! If you are not a speed-freak, you tend to slow down a bit after glancing at the speedometer. All of a sudden, a herd of goats are trying to cross the road in front of you. There is no other option but to hope the last visit to the service station was effective and the brakes are working!

When this happened to me a couple of weeks ago on the highway between Hyderabad and Bangalore, it was less dramatic. I was not speeding at 100km/hr. Instead, I was driving at 80 km/hr. Since it was a stretch of long and straight road, I had enough time to anticipate and react! I also took a picture!

Driving on highways is always an enlightening experience. Highways indicate connectivity to a major city. But, most of the highways are in a perpetual state of construction. There are so many dangers in travelling on a highway. Goats are one form of this danger. I have also seen people crossing the highway in the middle of nowhere!

The half-highways present another danger. The half-highway is the partly finished segment in an highway. It is partly finished because only side of the highway is fully functional. The dividers are constructed and the road on one side of the divider is usable. The other side is still under construction. So all the traffic is diverted to the functional side constituting the half-highway!

The stretch leading to the half-highway is the most dangerous part. While speeding on a full-highway, you are presented with big empty containers, big rocks and an uprooted trees obstructing you from going forward. In the middle of this obstruction, there is an arrow mark indicating you to turn to the other side. The arrow mark is so inconspicuous that you will hardly notice these unless you are within 50 meters from it in broad daylight.

In most of the roads, you will be zig-zagging between half-highways through a major stretch of the road. You alternate from a half-highway on your left to the half-highway on your right!

If these are not dangerous enough, then there are vehicles using the wrong side of the highway on a full-highway. These drivers use the wrong side of the road to reach the closest gap in the road which are provided for taking a U-turn. Once these drivers reaches the gap, they cross over to the right side of the road. But while breaking the law and endangering everyone around them, these drivers are the most disciplined. They stick to their left while on the wrong side of the road!

Tags: Musings,Highway


  1. Goodness gracious!!

    Perils of driving in India, eh? This could well be lethal if you're on a motorbike taking the turn. Is there any point in blaming the animals when it is ourselves who are to blame?

    btw, I know you were going at 80km/hr but whats the speed limit on our new 4/6 laners? I read somewhere that it is 80kmph, could you confirm? I'm drafing a post myself on our highways, and this info could help.. :)

  2. You will have to write a book if you want to write down a just the points, let alone the experiences & the thought processes :)

    I have ones seen a guy cross an highway while counting the money in his hand. He didn't even respond in any manner though 2 cars were honking from a distance. Luckily, all our brakes were working & we had to wait for the guy to reach the other end of the road :-/ Mind you, I was at on the upper end of the speed limit & the SUV with us, still faster.

  3. @ScorpioGenius - Sorry. I can't find any material which says 80 km/hr. Blame my bad memory.

    @Everyone - Appreciate if you can help ScorpioGenius

    @Laks - You are right! These were from my experience. I'm sure everyone will have different experiences. I'm waiting to hear from everyone. :)

  4. Nice post.. I have amazing stories about highway.. i got an inspiration from this post..


  5. Believe me, there are some goats on city roads too, the two legged ones. They suddenly decide to cross the road when you are cruising at a nice speed and then threaten you with some choicest words when you yell at them.
    I have given up driving.

  6. Thanks Nona, I was actually having trouble in acquiring a reliable link even though I googled for it. The Wiki has some details but I'm afraid it is far from reliable. It seems it depends on the type of road and the state you're in, but I think 80 is the norm.. Well, I'll keep searching :)

    PS: The Wiki article says a new Expressway in Bangalore is planned with a design speed of 180km/hr. That's craziness... Leave out the crash barriers and animals, people themselves are going to jump across the asphalt and such 'autobahnic' speeds appear too far fetched to me.

  7. Cows and Buffaloes on the main road are a standing problem but it can not be helped as no single deptt in the Govt has been assigned this job.

  8. @Swatantra - I will wait for your post. :)

    @Aparna - :) Is this species that is found only in metropolitan cities?

    @ScorpioGenius - 180 km/hr!!! Wow! Not sure which expressway are they referring to!

    @BKC - Will having a department for it solve this issue? Can't the highway patrol take care of this? Can't barricades be constructed at key locations?

  9. @ Nona, the Airport expressway. Its said so in the Wiki article.


  10. @ScorpioGenius - Thanks for sharing the information. May be it is built for this kind of speed. Practically, I do not think we can achieve it. Wondering how they got it certified!


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