As a person capable of driving, it is imperative that you are well aware of all the traffic signals and signs in India, and what they stand for. It is crucial to be aware for the sake of your safety, as well as other vehicles on the road with you, and pedestrians. Traffic signals and signs have been curated so that appropriate road behaviour is conducted, traffic flow is regulated and travel on the road is risk free for all. Ignoring traffic signals and not abiding by traffic signs is punishable by law, and can result in an e-challan being issued to you.
There are three different types of traffic signs in India, namely mandatory signs, cautionary signs and informative signs. Mandatory traffic signs are the obligatory traffic rules that all drivers need to follow. Some of these signs include the STOP sign, Give Way sign, One Way sign, No Entry sign, Horns Prohibited sign, U-Turn Prohibited sign, Over Taking Prohibited sign, and Speed Limit sign. Cautionary traffic signs are those that have been deployed to warn the driver against potential dangers that may lie ahead on the road. The driver must follow these signs and slow down so as to avoid any harm to themselves and others on the road. Some of the cautionary signs include Right Hand Curve sign, Steep ascent and descent sign, Pedestrian Crossing sign. School Ahead sign, Narrow Bridge sign, Slippery Road sign, Men at Work sign, and Narrow Road Ahead sign. Informative traffic signs are the ones that help the driver get important information regarding nearby facilities without the aid of a map. Some of the Informative Signs include Public Telephone sign, Petrol Pump sign, Hospital sign, Restaurant sign, Resting Place sign, Parking sign, and First Aid Post sign.
Along with this, there are certain rules for driving behaviour on the roads imposed by the road transport ministry termed as ‘Rules of Road Regulations, 1989’. These rules are 30 in number, and some of them are as follows:
- The driver of a motor vehicle shall drive the vehicle as close to the left side of the road as may be expedient.
- The driver of a motor vehicle shall pass to the right of all traffic proceeding in the same direction as himself.
- The driver of a motor vehicle shall not pass a vehicle travelling in the same direction as himself:(a) if his passing is likely to cause inconvenience or danger to other traffic proceeding in any direction;(b) if he is near a point, a bend or corner or a hill or other obstruction of any kind that renders the road ahead not clearly visible;(c) if he knows that the driver who is following him has begun to over take him;(d) if the driver ahead of him has not signalled that he may be overtaken.
- Every driver shall, on the approach of a fire service vehicle or of an ambulance allow it free passage by drawing to the side of the road.
- No driver of a vehicle shall apply brake abruptly unless it is necessary to do so for safety reasons.
If a person is found flouting these rules, they can be liable to pay a penalty, as governed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). If in case a person ends up getting a challan, they can pay the same either offline, or online at the Parivahan Sewa portal set up by the ministry, where they can also check their vehicle blacklist and RC details.