Dip those lights please!

If you have driven at night in Bangalore, you know what a pain it is. Even if you don’t drive in Bangalore, you will know how much night traffic hurts. Your eyes that is.

In good old Bharat, we had half blackened headlights. Because a high-beam was painful and it was deemed best to cover the top half of the light in black paint so that everyone’s eyes were spared.

But for whatever reason (if any of you know, please write in!) the half covered lights have gone! And what we are left with is a city, full of people driving around in high-beam. And it hurts! Whether you are driving or sitting in the front or even sitting at the back, the glare emanating from all those high beams is painful. So much so that my husband drives with his Oakley on at night sometimes. No kidding! Looking silly is way better than having a permanent eye damage, I agree.

So why do people drive on high beam in back to back traffic? Most of them probably think that unless you see that headlight symbol on in your dash, your headlight is not really on. Some bus-wallahs do it on purpose to get people out of their way (those bus-wallahs are a frustrated lot I tell ya, what else do you expect with all that driving day and night in mad city traffic). And I am guessing a majority of the rest just don’t know that there are two forms of light in a vehicle. A low-beam for normal traffic/roads and a high beam for deserted ghat roads while going over a mountain.

How can this mass be educated? I am not sure. I decided to start by posting it here. All those RJs who keep blabbering on and on during rush hour traffic can actually start to educate people on how to distinguish between these two lights and encourage people to drive on low-beam. I am sure if people drive on high-beam just because they are unaware, they will toe the line. I saw a very nice illustrative poster outside Secunderabad RTA (in Karkhana) which showed the difference between low-beam and high-beam and which one is the right one to use. Sure, the Bangalore RTA guys can and should do something similar. But when was any Karnataka government agency so enterprising. I don’t know, I never saw it in the whole course of my life, sigh!

So to start things off, here is a post. I am hoping my few readers will pass it on and spread the word, and save the pain to many a night driver.

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  1. It is not that citizens don’t understand that high-beams can cause accidents or that they are dangerous. But a number of us tend to hold our common sense hostage to our own egos. Santosh is correct, only by police enforcement can the attitudes change. The lack of respect for other people is a common feature of all big cities from Bangalore to Delhi to London to New York. Enforcement is the answer, I wouldn’t expect common sense to make a difference.

  2. Thank God !! Someone has really thought about this. Otherwise we become habituated just like the potholes, muddy road, overflowing drainage, impatient honking, whisking close to the pedestrian, jumping the signal which are common in our Bangalore.

  3. Good one Divya. This is a major problem while driving/riding at night.

    People driving with High beam dont understand a simple fact that if the person driving in the opposite direction is not able to see the road, they themselves are at risk!! There is a chance of collission..

    This issue will not be resolved unless the traffic police enforces usage of low beams.

    I drive with low beam but when I see the opposite person with High beam, why would I remain sober. I instantly switch to high beam.

    Its a problem with the attitude & can be corrected only if people are fined for violation.

    Traffic Police has to intervene.

  4. I totally agree…when will people learn? I have stopped my car in the middle of the road at times in the night almost causinga jam just to literally spit( which i really feel like doing atleast once) on the face of the person driving on high beam!ppl who cannot follow or even learn these basic lessons in driving shud not be driving at all! These call center cabs do this all the time.

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