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But on the roads, it’s another story. I have been riding/driving on the roads for many many years. Traffic has obviously increased. And conversely road sense has decreased.
A while back, I was driving at a sedate pace . A man was closing a conversation with his friend and walking away. He continued walking right into my path, still looking back at his friend. I hadn’t honked since I expected to look away and into where he was walking. My mistake. Luckily neither of us got hurt when my bike dashed into him, mildly.
Ten days back, I was driving past a parked bus on my left. A man crossed the road in front of the bus, and was concentrating on the oncoming traffic. There was no way I could have seen him (the bus stop in front of Krupanidhi college, Madivala, is on a curve.). I honked and braked too late. I skidded and sprawled right in front of the car coming in the opposite direction. Luckily the car driver swerved away; My helmet and a large dose of luck ensured I got away with just a few painful scrapes. Managed to ride straight to a nearby clinic, get a TT shot and dressings on my wounds.
My knee still hurts. I am less particular about not honking now.
I honk to tell the auto driver in front, don’t swerve suddenly, I am behind you. I honk to tell the passenger hanging on the bus footboard, look out and don’t jump on me. I honk to tell the driver behind me, see my hand stretched right and my indicator on, I am actually turning right, don’t try to overtake from my right.
I honk to tell the girls talking and giggling and walking across the road, talk later, look at the oncoming traffic and wait for me to go before you cross. I honk to tell the cyclist, I am there in the same lane, don’t suddenly swerve into my path. I honk on a dark road, to tell pedestrians, look out, move to the edge of the road.
I honk to tell bus drivers, pull out slowly from the bus stand, I am overtaking you on your right. I honk to warn car drivers, check the oncoming traffic and get out of the driver’s seat. I honk to plead with commuters on a bus, please do not lean out and spit, I am driving past.
I honk to assert my identity as a bike rider.