View from inside a trishaw (driver’s mind).
Today I was driving and a trishaw tried the thread between me and a bus, knocking my mirror. The car was OK, but WTF. After I wrote about the general pointlessness of horning, I tried to keep track of why I was doing it. 75% of the time I’m trying to impose external rationality on trishaws.
Trishaws are insane. A bunch of clowns on diesel powered tricycles would be more predictable. My main issue is lanes, trishaws don’t keep to lanes, or they drift, or they do U-Turns randomly. This means that just to pass a trishaw you have to toot, because they can just slam into you. More often than not, the trishaw is in the passing lane (itself a largely unknown concept) and you have to horn repeatedly to get them to move. That is most of my horning.
This also applies to cars but to a much lesser degree. It’s strange, the people in the most physical danger tend to drive the most recklessly. I have had a trishaw run into me at a pedestrian crossing, literally my arm went through the (plastic) window. I was OK. A trishaw is not going to survive an impact with a car or anything. Bikes are even worse, especially when kids and babies are piled onto it. Yet these people often drive the craziest.
The Southern Expressway is blissful cause it’s devoid of trishaws and motorbikes, but it’s also largely empty. Almost half of vehicles on the road are motorbikes, and there are more trishaws than cars (Vehicle Ownership In Sri Lanka). The answer is not to ban trishaws or motorbikes, but to impose some external rationality using something besides my horn.
I see trishaws doing ridiculous shit in front of cops and they don’t bother. They should. I think the existing law (rules for passing, parking, speed) should be aggressively enforced with hefty fines so people get the message. I think the cops actually did a good job of reducing drunk driving with thorough checkpoints. They could make life a lot more civil if they started checking the average trishaw as well.