Traffic Signals,Signs, Rules, Light and Road Safety in India
The traffic signals are a must know for anyone in the country. These signals are making sure that you are always on the safe side. However most people nowadays disobey these traffic regulations and as a result we can see that a lot of accidents take place. This is why it is important to see the road signs and guidelines to make sure that we are safe on the road.
Traffic signs give us information about the roads ahead. So if you have a bump ahead, or an uneven road ahead, you will be warned by these signs. These help you have a secure ride. A person is supposed to have a sound knowledge of the road signs and traffic signals before obtaining a license in India.
Three basic things to know
There are three basic things about the traffic rules in India that you must know about:
- Basic Road Rules: Under these there are the rules that tell how the pedestrians are supposed to walk on the sidelines and how the drivers and the cyclists are supposed to maintain the rules of the road.
- Traffic Signals: Traffic signals are positioned on the road sides. The drivers are supposed to see them during their driving because they indicate whether a road is drivable or not. People need to understand the traffic signals with the help of the color code.
- Road Signals: The road signs play a major role in the safety of the people on the road. According to the policy of India, the road signals and signs have been divided into three types.
Three types of road signals
- Mandatory Signs: There are the mandatory signs which if not followed, are punishable by law. These signs are used by the authorities to ensure that the roads are smooth and that there is order on the road. Certain, laws, regulations and prohibitions are implied to ensure free movement of pedestrians and drivers under these.
- Cautionary Signs: These are once again very important signs that one needs to follow on the road to have a safe ride. These signs specifically give indications of hazardous conditions on the road. For example, if the road ahead is under construction, this sign gives the indication of that. If there is a railway crossing ahead, the cautionary signs give you a heads up. This is why following these signs are so important.
- Informatory signs: These signs are used to tell you about the kilometers ahead or to give you a heads up about prominent locations nearby. It is with the help of this sign that you are going to find out if you are going the right direction towards your desired location. It will tell you if a pub or a restaurant is nearby or if you are headed towards Goa on the highway. These signs are very helpful. So why would you want to ignore them?
Many people are clueless about the speed limit in different parts of the country. Speed limits can vary according to the different states and it can vary as per the vehicles as well in India. If you want to know the speed limit then you have got to know the speed limit of the local area, because the speed limits are set by the local authorities for that place.
If you are driving on an Expressway then it is common to drive within a speed range of 100 km/hr and 120 km/hr in this country. Since there are very few Expressways in this country the only two notable areas where this speed limit is viable is Pune and Mumbai Expressway.
It is also advised by the authorities that when you are on motorcycles, your speed should not exceed beyond 80 km/hr. Also, the usage of motorcycles as a whole is discouraged. These days the highway police are making use of automated systems that would help them track the speed of vehicles. This is why it is easier to get caught if you are not following the rules of the road. This may make you want to get a fine.
Safety guidelines and Traffic Rules in India
- Pedestrian: People should never cross the roads in a hurry. They should avoid crossing the roads in front of parked vehicles and they should never jump on the railings of the crossroads. If there are no footpaths, always walk on the right side of the road. It is highly recommended to always use the zebra crossing, the foot over bridge, the subways and such things. You should also cross roads only if the vehicles are stopped or at a distance.
- Cyclists: it is a fact that 10% of the cyclists are killed every day because of road accidents. The cycle should always have a rear view mirror, black painted mirror, reflective tapes and gadgets fitted on it. One should always be at a distance from the motorized vehicles and never cycle on a busy road. One should always make a proper indication before coming to a stop on a cycle. Also, keeping heavy goods on a cycle is a strict no-no. Never holds rides on a fast vehicle and never ride parallel with another cycle. These are some of the rules for cyclists that are to be followed.
- Car Drivers: the speed limit for driving should not be more than 50 km/hr. wearing seat belt and other gears are important for the driver. Also those sitting in the front seat must wear seat belts. Other things such as using the clutch while driving, using acceleration along with sudden break must be avoided. Always move at a distance from the other cars and drive in your own lane. Also, carry the important documents related to the car and the license so that they can be produced when asked by the authorities. Also, children below 12 years of age should not sit in the front seat and driving while drunk or under the effect of drugs is prohibited. Lastly, avoid mobile phone usage while driving and don’t load a lot of things into the car so that it may become a problem for passengers.
- Motor cyclists: If you are a motor cycle user, then you must remember always to use BIS approved head gear while riding. Also wear the headgear tightly and equip the pillion riders with the same headgear. Make sure the lights are proper and not damaged and the indicator is turned on while turning – you can switch it off after turning. Verify the air pressure in the front as well as the rear tires. Remember that talking on a cell phone while riding a motorcycle is a crime and you must never have more than two people riding with you. Don’t take minors with you for a ride and never use bus lanes to ride the heavy vehicles. Never ride a motorcycle in a zigzag fashion and never overtake while riding on the left side of any vehicle on the road.
- Bus commuters: There are regulations for the bus commuters too. They should show a restraint in behavior while on the road and must stand in a queue while getting on a bus. Using the steps in the bus to stand is not allowed actually. Also, get down only after the bus halts and never come in front of the bus after the bus has halted. Never put any body parts out while on the bus as this might cause some accident.
- Truck and bus drivers: although most of the rules apply as per the car drivers, but there are some things that are exclusive to these drivers. For example, towing should always be according to the license permits. As always, never load more passengers or things that are beyond capacity. This could cause the vehicle to trip or cause other accidents on the road. Load should always be safely packed and should never be hanging. This will avoid accidents from taking place. The heavy load should be distributed and the altogether ones should be kept on the tow. This will prevent any issues related to the loading.
- School children: The school children must be made aware that there are certain rules and regulations for them to walk on the street too. Children should never hurry while crossing the roads. Also, since they cannot be seen by the drivers while crossing roads, they should only cross the roads when the signals have stopped. They should stop crossing the road when there is a turn because the driver will not be able to see them. Never hurry on the road – if you fall, the driver will not be able to see you and it can cause accidents. They should also follow all the rules of the bus commuters when they are moving by the bus.
It must be noted here that the safety of the kids on the road is dependent on the parents. They must check if the drivers are obeying the traffic rules. They should teach the proper road guidelines to the children so that they are always safe. When they are visiting the school they should check its security measures. Also, they should not support the children below the age of 18 from driving.
Essentials of the school bus as per the Supreme Court
First of all the bus should have “School Bus” clearly marked on its front and rear end. The bus should have some essentials such as a fire extinguisher, a first aid box, safety frills running parallel to the windows. There should be a school attendant who comes to pick up and drop off the students. The bus should also have a provision of holding school bags beneath the seats. The locks should be in proper condition and the school teachers or the guardians shall have the right to check the bus for its condition.
In case the bus is not a regular one, but has the contract with the school, then it should clearly write “on school duty” on the front and rear end.
Educating children about road safety
Educating people about road safety is extremely important. It should become a part of the curriculum. It should be taught in schools, colleges, public places, work places, clubs, and etc. one can also create awareness about the road safety and traffic guidelines in a different fashion for example by sharing it online with their friends and family, educating children and teachers, by distributing pamphlets in schools and colleges and showing presentations about safety in movie theatres.
Road safety week for spreading awareness
Another great way to ensure you spread the word about road safety is to take part in the road safety week. Each year the metro cities in India take part in this week’s initiative to make sure that safety on road is assured. The road safety week was celebrated from January 11th to 17th in the year 2015. In 2016 also the same dates were taken up for the celebrations. This day is used to spread awareness about safety on road.
How safe are we on the road?
Driving on the road in India can be very unsafe indeed. According to the reports published in 2013, every minute an accident occurs in India. This is really unsafe. This means that any time we are crossing the road for a minute or two some person is facing an accident.
Maharashtra tops of list of road accidents followed by Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. The reason for such high road accidents is unregulated wearing of helmets, not seeing the road properly while crossing it and lack of child restraints.
Here are a few signal indications which are pretty basic and will take you no time to learn:
|Serial no.||Signal indication||What it means|
|1||Red light||Stop the traffic|
|4||Flashing signals||Complete halt and then move according to signals|
|5||Green walking||Pedestrian may cross the road|
|6||Red walking||Pedestrian stop walking|
List of Traffic Signs in India
|3||No straight ahead|
|6||No vehicles in both directions|
|7||All motor vehicles prohibited|
|10||No heavy vehicles|
|11||No bullock carts|
|13||No left turn|
|14||No right turn|
|21||Axle weight limit|
|23||End of all restrictions|
|28||Proceed straight ahead|
|31||Turn left ahead|
|32||Turn right ahead|
|33||Turn left or proceed straight ahead|
|34||Turn right or proceed straight ahead|
|43||Traffic signals ahead|
|44||Level crossing with barrier ahead|
|45||Level crossing without barrier ahead|