Posted by: kcgadiyar | November 18, 2008

Driving in Hyderabad: Rules of the road

I am no expert on Hyderabad. But, having driven on Hyderabad roads for around 6 months now, I can hazard a guess as to how exactly the traffic rules here work. I hereby present to you, the reading public, a ready reckoner, a guide to traffic in Hyderabad.

  • First off, YOU are the only person driving on the road. All those other vehicles around you are mirages, caused due to hyper-excitation of the brain due to inhalation of too much of petrol fumes. So relax, the whole road is available to you.
  • As a continuation of the first point, feel free to cut from lane to lane without warning. It will help you with the mirages if you decide to brake suddenly when in front of one of them. (Caution, you may hear a light thudding noise, ignore it and continue)
  • Two wheelers are in fact made of rubber and hence completely malleable. This makes them fit into the tiniest of gaps which may appear between 2 vehicles. Safety be damned.
  • Yes, you can drive and talk on your cellphone at the same time, especially if you are a 2-wheeler driver. The people behind you will understand
  • As an extension, feel free to listen to songs on your mp3 player at full volume as you drive. Those honking noises are probably part of the soundtrack.
  • This is how lights work in Hyderabad
    • Green: Go (as fast as you can)
    • Yellow: Go (even faster than on green)
    • Red: Stop, not mandatory, we would like it if you stop, but if you are in a hurry, by all means, Go.
  • Free Left???? What is that?
  • Horns need to be blown on average 20 times a minute, it does not matter if there is a train of buses in front of you which are stuck behind a red signal (which, as everyone knows means Go)
  • Learn a complete book full of expletives; it will help, trust me. If the expletives are in telugu, all the better
  • Footpaths??? Pedestrians??? What are those?
  • Going the wrong way, even on a flyover, is completely normal
  • The police will do nothing, provided you are wearing a helmet. This basically gives you free rein, enjoy.
  • Rickshaws are jet-fuelled, trust me. You will believe a man can fly.
  • Safety First??? WTF?
  • And finally, don’t forget, the road is like your personal drawing room. Probably your ancestral property. Feel free to do anything and everything there. Everyone else will avoid you, you don’t need to bother.

This was my attempt at putting together a coherent piece of everything I have observed so far. I am not saying that the situation is any better in Bangalore or Mumbai, but at least the rules are followed to some extent at least. All traffic rules are thrown out the window here.

Until Next Time,




  1. “All traffic rules are thrown out the window here.”—traffic rules??? what traffic rules? 😀

  2. Nice read.
    I stumbled on this entry because wordpress suggested that it is similar to my blog entry

  3. Check out photographs of Traffic Violations in Hyderabad.Contribute your pictures,and tell your friends .Share your links too.

  4. i still remember the way SV Nathan described the state of Hyderabad Traffic.. I’ll reiterate some of them:
    1. When you see ember color light, people are expected to remove their foot from accelerator and move it to the brake.. but in Hyderabad traffic, people simply press it harder..
    2. If at all you see a person showing a hand out of his car, dont think he’s about to take a turn.. he may be simply observing if it is raining or not.. or may be saying hi to a fellow rider.. 😛
    btw u can make CHOAS and HYDERABAD a connected tag.. they’ll fit at most places 😉

  5. captures and appropriately words my emotions about the traffic here. Good work 🙂

  6. Hi,

    A friend of mine forwarded me this post. I lived in Hyderabad the whole of 2006. I always wanted to post on the driving rules. I can relate to what you have posted.

    I want to add one more observation, Hyderabad is the only city (I have seen) where when you are about to take a U turn you can find another vehicle coming in front of you to take U turn from the opposite direction.

    The traffic lights are there as part of the street decorative initiative.

    Autos pack as much people as one could in a mini bus.


  7. […] 2. Driving in Hyderabad – Rules of the road: This post arose from pure frustration and i have been meaning to write a sequel about night driving for quite some time now. […]

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