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Traffic Signs and Rules in India

Road safety has always been a cause of concern in India as there are a number of mishaps happening almost every day. Hence, it becomes necessary for motor vehicle drivers to understand various traffic signs to practice safe driving. Any individual who wants to drive on Indian roads should hold a driving license and be well-versed with various traffic signs and rules.

A driving license holder has to go through a driving license test which requires him to be familiar with traffic signs and signals. The test is conducted in written or oral form depending on the service provided by the state or city RTO.

Here is how traffic signs help a motor vehicle driver while also ensuring their safety as well as that of the pedestrians.

  • Traffic signs make it easy for the vehicle driver to know if the parking area is restricted or available.
  • They are extremely helpful as they help heavy, medium, and light vehicle drivers understand the proper division of lanes.
  • Traffic signs help in preventing road accidents and ensure proper functioning of the road traffic.
  • Traffic signs keep vehicle drivers informed about the potential dangers ahead and the road they should take.

Traffic signs are primarily of three types

Mandatory traffic signs:

These signs ensure smooth movement of the traffic on the road due to which it is very important for a motor driver to understand them. These signs ensure that the drivers follow the instructions featured on it. It is important to note that the violation of these signs is prohibited by the law. Here are mandatory traffic sign images displayed below.

Cautionary traffic signs:

As the name suggests, these signs warn a motor vehicle driver against the potential danger on the road ahead. These signs are displayed on the roads to help the driver take the precautionary steps to ensure his safety.

Informative traffic signs:

These signs inform the driver about various petrol pumps, resting places, parking spots, etc.

Traffic Rules in India

Here are various rules listed in the Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989 that need to be followed while driving on Indian roads.

  • Keep left when driving on a two-way road so that the vehicles in the opposite direction can pass through the right side smoothly.
  • If a driver wants to turn left, then it’s necessary he stays close to the left side and then takes a left turn.
  • If the driver wants to turn right, it’s necessary he should be at the centre of the road he is driving on and then take a right gradually.
  • When approaching a road junction, road intersection, pedestrian crossing, it is important for the driver to slow down.
  • When being overtaken or passed by another vehicle, a driver should not increase the speed of his vehicle or prevent the vehicle from passing his vehicle.
  • Overtaking a vehicle is prohibited in the below cases:
    • If the passing would cause danger to other vehicles moving in any direction.
    • If the vehicle overtaking is near a point, a bend or corner or a hill as it may cause a serious accident due to unclear view of the road ahead.
    • If the driver ahead hais not signalled the other driver that he may be overtaken.
    • It is not a wise idea to overtake a vehicle when the vehicle driver knows that the other driver has already started to overtake him.
  • It is important for the driver as well as the pillion to wear a helmet
  • The driver is not allowed to park his vehicle on the top of a hill, near a road crossing, on the footpath, near traffic lights, on the pedestrian road or near the entrance of the building and a fire hydrant.
  • The vehicle registration number should be displayed at all times.
  • Only one pillion is allowed on a two-wheeler vehicle
  • It is important for a driver to make way for cyclists as well.
  • To maintain road safety and avoid any mishaps, it is necessary that the lights of the vehicle should not be obstructed.
  • On a one way road, driving in a reverse direction is not allowed.
  • While overtaking another vehicle on the road, the driver should not cross the yellow line.
  • The STOP sign on the road should not be crossed
  • Horn should be used only when required
  • The vehicle should be always on the right side when driving on a mountain or a hill
  • Driver must not load the vehicle with any kind of goods. Also, explosives or inflammable goods are not allowed to be carried.
  • Overtaking can be done only from the right side of the vehicle