Yesterday, on the bus from Mysore to Kochi, we saw thousands of ‘Speed thrills but kills’ posters plastered along the highway, along with many more informing us that ‘Accidents bring tears, safety brings chears’ (sic).
It is road safety week in India…
Our bus driver, however, was having none of it.
Rob and I booked the seats at the front for the extra legroom without realising that this is also the best spot to see your life flash before your eyes. Also the near deaths of others.
We were about ten minutes into the journey when we came within a hairs breadth of killing a motorcyclist. Admittedly this was mostly his fault: he did waft his arm out to the right as an indicator but he didn’t think to look backwards to see whether there was a 50 seater bus hurtling along in the right hand lane as part of an aggressive overtaking manoeuvre.
The motorcyclist escaped unscathed, but a few more emergency stops later, with luggage flying down the aisle, and our driver was really getting into his stride.
From what I could see (I was trying not to watch) we spent almost as much time in the oncoming traffic lane as we did in ours and nearly got a couple of innocent pedestrians too.
Just as well it was a speedy 11 hour trip.*
*advertised as 7 hours but of course we knew better than that. Or we should have done!