Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thusday Challenge: Transportation - Motorcycles in India - April 25, 2013


Motorcycles have always frightened me.  As a nurse, I've seen far too many patients
with serious injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.  There is just so little
protection for riders, even when they are clad in leather jackets, pants, boots,
and helmets.  At highway speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, cars, often, don't
notice them.

In India, motorcycles are a major form of transportation.  In cities like Mumbai,
with a population of 18 million people, one sees entire families on a motorcycle -
father, mother, and two children, sometimes more.  Many areas now have helmet
law but, usually, only the driver is wearing a helmet.  Other passengers - and 
the children - are riding without protective headgear.  Even the passenger with
a helmet is too often not wearing it properly.  Chin straps are not fastened so,
in the event of a mishap, the helmet would fly off the driver's head, affording him
no protection at all.  Of course, nurse that I am, whenever I am stopped in a
rickshaw or taxi next to such a driver, I have to say something.  If even one 
person listens and learns, I will be happy.

It amazes me that women, in their beautiful saris ride side saddle - or pinion -
as they call it.  Many roads are filled with potholes and they manage to stay
on board, often clutching a baby in one arm while holding on to the driver
with the other.  I just offer up a prayer for everyone on Indian roads and hope
I survive to get home to my California freeways - which aren't the safest places
in the world either!










I am participating in 
This week's theme is:  transportation.
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20 comments:

  1. A lot needs to be done for the safety of riders..

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    1. I don't know the solution in India..but motorcycle laws are more strictly enforced in the US.

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  2. Hmmm. Riding side-saddle on a motorcycle sounds like a real challenge to me!

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    1. I agree with you, Joan, especially if you are sari-clad and trying to hold on to a little one at the same time!!

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  3. I would be scared to ride a motorcycle in India too. Much different than here in Canada.

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    1. Definitely, fredamans - there are so many of them and between all the auto rickshaws, cycles and some auto traffic, it can be so scary. Add to it the monsoon rains & it gets even more scary!

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  4. Enjoyed your explanation and interesting photos, Carmen! Love the one of the lady in the orange sari. And thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment!

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    1. Though I've now lived nine months out of the last two years in India, I am forever in awe of the beautiful saris, their brilliant colors, and to see them whizzing by on motor cycles, is always amazing.

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  5. Hi, thanks for stopping by.
    Safety (personal or otherwise) is always a second thought in India. Many people don't have a choice but to ride with their family (baby included!) on a scooter/motorcycle.

    On the other hand, due to heavy traffic, pot holes and undisciplined traffic, the speeds are almost never to high, no?

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    1. As a nurse for nearly fifty years, now retired, I would actually like to visit some of the Indian hospitals...busman's holiday, I guess. Sadly, I am sure many of the occupants are there because of motorcycle accidents. Even at minimal speeds, the lack of protective headgear and clothing can result in signifigant injury. In the US, even children are required to wear helmets when riding bicycles - head injury is one of the leading causes of death among pediatric patients from falls off bicycles.

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  6. Motorbikes scare me, too. Here in Italy every teenager rides one to school and it's a wonder there aren't more accidents than there are. I didn't know the women rode them "side saddle" in India.

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    1. I remember my visits to Italy, especially Rome....cycles and motorbikes everywhere!!! At least folks aren't sari clad and riding side saddle.

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  7. I am impressed by your observations about us here. :) Great captures, you are ever alert! :)

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    1. The nurse in me is always worried about folks on motorcycles. I just think they are so unsafe as a means of travel - though I know they are necessary and more easily afforded in India.

      My 28-year-old often talks of getting one - a Harley if he saves enough...in California, they must have a riding course ( which he did years ago ) before getting a motorcycle license and a helmet is required ... with STIFF fines if not worn...for the driver and ALL passengers

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  8. I've often wondered how whole families could fit on a motorcycle, but I've seen pictures of them. I can understand how in a warmer climate and with a little less money motorcycles would be the main mode of transportation. I used to wonder if that would be better for me to just get back and forth to work. Safety was too much of an issue though.

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    1. Yes, for sure, most Indians can not afford cars so motorbikes and scooters are an alternative transportation. I rode on one, occasionally, as a teenager but, once I hit nursing school at 17 and saw all the accident victims in the emergency room, that stopped me.

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  9. Motorcycles are a major form of transportation in Melbourne Australia. One sees entire families on a motorcycle - father, mother, and two children, sometimes more. Many areas now have helmet law but, usually, only the driver is wearing a helmet. Motorbike Transport

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    1. In California, all motorcycle passengers are expected to be helmeted....even children, on their bikes, must have helmets/

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  10. Firstly, I appreciate the photography. I really like it. I also like your post, It's stunning. Nice sharing.
    motorcycle transportation services

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    1. Albert, I am glad you enjoyed my post I've always got my camera out as I ride my auto rickshaws through the streets. India affords so many photo opportunities.

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