There is a kind of space efficiency here that you just don't see in the US, or Western Europe. For example, a bycicle-powered school bus/cart that can easily carry ten children. Safety be damned.
The truth of the matter is that India has plenty of rules and regulations for driving. It's just that nobody seems to follow them. For example...
The rule: No rickshaws, bikes, animal-drawn carts, hand-pushed carts, or pedestrians.
The reality: rickshaws, bikes, animal-drawn carts, hand-pushed carts, oversized loads, pedestrians, and at least one hookah-smokin', turban-wearin', donkey-rider in the middle of the road, and frequently facing into oncoming traffic. The occasional lane markers are not so much a guideline as a suggestion, and not even so much a suggestion as a figment of somebody's fantasy.
But all of this chaos and disorder has a certain charm -- especially to us seat-belt wearin', rule-followin', red-light-stoppin' tourists.
While we undoubtedly have a special place in our hearts for the Taj Mahal, or riding the elephants in Jaipur, or being attacked by monkeys, you could also make the argument that riding in the rickshaws and tuk-tuks (the motorized tricicle rickshaws) may well be the highlight of the trip and the thing we will most remember. My mother normally wouldn't back out of the driveway without her seatbelt on, but here, she has no choice but to laugh about it as her grandchildren ride backwards without belts through crazy traffic. In fairness, she does point out that a) we usually aren't going faster than 20-30 mph in these vehicles and b) that the first time I brought home Gigi as a baby to visit my parents, I threw a hissy fit when they hadn't installed the car seat properly. But when I'm in Asia, rules and safety fly out the window. I just hope that the children don't.