Driving in Chennai is much better than in Madurai but for the numerous traffic signals! Driving my splendor I always manage to wriggle through the traffic at the signals and reach the stop line. But when I don't that's when I'm faced with these One-minute Conservationists
The countdown timers installed in the last few years on most traffic signals are a boon to people like me, I speed up if the signal is gonna stop soon and if I'm stopped at a signal I'm ready with the first gear down by the time its just a second or two to go.
But then I don't belong to the class of the One-minute Conservationists... You can spot the members of this class any day any time at a busy signal they switch off their engines even if they've to wait for just a minute at the traffic signal. They don't start their engines even when it goes 3..2..1.. But wait till the Green light comes on to start kicking their vehicles to life. The Worst of this class are the auto-rickshaws, these guys wait in a half crouched posture with one hand on the start lever and they too wait for 3..2..1.. to get over before they start tugging the lever But then these rickety old machines don't start in one go do they? Sometimes they even get down out of their autos, oblivious to the traffic behind, to have a go at the lever trying to coax the engine into life.
I've been made to miss signals because of these people even when I've been just 25-30m away from the stop-line. When the signal light goes green and you can't see any motor vehicles moving you know the front-line is full of these One-minute Conservationists. I don't understand what is it that these people are trying to Conserve... If it's the environment... They end up spewing a burst of thick black smoke from their vehicles when they start up and Vroom before they get moving anyway. If it's due to the sky-rocketing fuel prices I don't think the engine whiling for a minute would consume as much as fuel as fresh start not to mention the missed ones...
Its a free world people can do whatever they want BUT not at the cost of other people's time!