Road Safety Rules in India – A Guide to Traffic Signs and Road Safety Rules


7 min read

Can an individual who walks or drives on the road to go to work or to run an errand ascertain their safe return? When you leave home, you have a lovely family waiting for you to come back hale and hearty. But are you sure that you will come back smiling happily to your dear ones or a news of a tragedy will reach your family?

With a surge in the rate of accidents in India year-on-year, ascertaining safety on the road has become a thing of the past. Every year, lakhs of people die on roads in India. As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, a total of 4,12,432 road accidents were reported in the country in 2021, which claimed 1,53,972 lives and injured 3,84,448 individuals.

With such an overwhelming number of accidents, can one be safe on the road in India? This brings our attention to a very important aspect of road safety in the country. Even with that staggering number of accidental deaths every year, people in India are still unaware of the importance of road safety rules.

Let us talk in this post about the road safety rules in India and the measures to be taken to ensure the safety of people playing on the road – pedestrians, bikers, four-wheeler operators, etc.

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Top 8 Road Safety Rules on Road to Follow in India

The government sets some road laws for the protection of their citizens. These laws also include the ones to ensure the protection of animals.

Here are some key road safety measures that need to be followed:

1. The Rule About the Use of Zebra Crossing for Crossing a Road:

Not using the zebra crossing for crossing a road dismisses the entire concept of road safety measures. There is a reason behind the black and white stripes or zebra crossing marked on the road. People must use it for their safety while crossing roads.

2. The Rule Related to Drink and Drive:

This is a very crucial road safety rule that must be followed by all vehicle drivers. They are not expected to consume alcohol while driving. Since alcohol weakens the function of reasoning, it limits the controlling capacity of people while operating a vehicle. Hence, it should be strictly avoided.

3. The Rule for Animal Safety:

Animals, especially farm animals, are free to move on the road at liberty. So, it is the responsibility of the vehicle drivers to avoid hurting these animals or running them over under their vehicles.

4. The Rule Regarding Driving with Health Issues:

As per the demand of the Road rules, no person is allowed to drive if they are not feeling good or have health issues. Even during exhaustion, people should avoid driving.

5. The Rule About Traffic Lights:

Obeying the traffic lights is another necessary rule that must be followed by everyone driving a vehicle on the road, as well as pedestrians, for road safety in India.

6. The Rule to Keep to Your Left on the Road:

A vital rule to maintain on the road is to keep to the left. So, even if you are walking or driving a vehicle, keeping to your left helps avoid collisions with cars coming from the right side.

7. The Rule to Slow Down Speed at Crossings:

It is important to slow down when you enter busy roads or highways and at crossings and intersections.

8. The Rule to Strictly Avoid Mobile Phones While Driving:

We have already seen and heard how using mobile phones while driving has cost the lives of innocent people. Hence, avoid using your mobile phone while in the driving seat.

Besides the above-mentioned important road safety rules, there are others as discussed below:

Rules and Regulations of Road Safety for Cars

When it comes to road safety rules, every vehicle, including cars and bikes, must follow them as indicated by the government. Here are some of the rules that car drivers must follow: 

1. Always Use Seatbelts:

Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory as per the Motor Vehicles Act under section 183 (3) CMVR 177 MVA. Not wearing them will attract a fine.

2. Never Get Distracted:

While in the driver’s seat, you cannot afford to get distracted. You have to be focused all the time.

3. Maintain Speed Limits:

You must have seen or heard this, “Speed thrills but kills”. It is true. Driving at high speeds not only levies penalties on the driver but can even be the cause of an accident.

4. Maintain the Health of Your Car:

If your car is not maintained well, it can be at risk of accidents. Always maintain your car by regular visits to the mechanic so that any mechanical fault can be addressed well in time.

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Rules and Regulations of Road Safety for Bikes

Bikes and other two-wheeler users are required to be very careful while on the road and maintain the speed limit. Below are some guidelines on road safety for bikes:

1. Always Use a Helmet:

It is mandatory to wear an ISI-certified helmet while riding your two-wheeler to ensure that your head stays protected if there is a collision

2. Stay in Your Lane:

Bikers mostly enjoy fast biking. However, it is essential not to diverge between lanes as it can cause an accident. You must follow the lane rules and not move in gaps between lanes

What Are the Safety Rules for Kids to Follow on the Road?

Kids should be made aware of some of the safety precautions and traffic rules in India as mentioned below:

  • Parents should let the children know about the basic safety road signs and signals
  • The children should know the traffic signs – like green means ‘to go’, red means ‘to stop’, etc.
  • Children should know that to put their hands out from moving vehicles is dangerous
  • Children should be taught to cross the road safely by following the rule of stop, look, and cross
  • Kids should be attentive to the horns of vehicles so that they can be mindful of vehicles coming from behind
  • Children should be prevented from running on the roads. They might collide with a moving vehicle
  • Another traffic/road safety awareness for kids is to teach them to use the sidewalk and the pedestrian crossing for walking and crossing the road, respectively
  • The children need to know that they are not supposed to cross the road on bends, as an oncoming vehicle may not see them and result in a collision
  • While getting off a bus, kids should know to get off only at the curbside
  • They should be taught not to open car doors suddenly before looking behind for a coming vehicle
  • Never walk on the road at night wearing dark-colored clothes, as drivers may not see the person who is walking in dark clothes from a distance

What Are the Various Road and Traffic Safety Issues in India?

India faces several road safety issues as the condition of safety on the road is very poor. Though the government implements many rules and regulations, the number of road accidents is still high.

Below are some continuous issues related to traffic safety rules that impact us all:

1. Implementation of Road Safety Standards are not up to the mark:

At times, there are no proper road signs marked on the road. Sometimes, signs are omitted or not implemented correctly. The concerned authority should correct these marks as soon as possible to help maintain the safety standards.

2. Indian Vehicles are not Designed considering the safety features:

Unlike in the West, car manufacturers in India do not consider safety features while designing vehicles. Manufacturers in Europe and America consider many automatic features

while manufacturing the machine for safety purposes.

3. Indifferent Attitude of Concerned Authorities:

The concerned authorities do not consider proper planning while constructing roads. Sometimes, they are unresponsive about the conditions of roads in India.

4. Absence of Emergency Services:

When it comes to emergency services required on the road, there is nothing much. The lack of emergency services makes things difficult if an accident occurs on the road. Without the availability of a quick response team, accident victims mostly succumb on the spot to injuries.

5. Lack of Accountability of Citizens:

Sometimes, the lack of responsibility of citizens is the reason for mishaps on the road. People make wrong decisions, which becomes the cause of accidents.

6. Poor Road Conditions:

In India, roads are poorly maintained in most places, which also is a cause of road accidents.

Are There Any Road Safety Tips that Everyone to Follow?

Yes, there are some tips to ensure safety on the road that everyone should follow, such as;

  • Never use a mobile phone while driving. This is one of the most important road safety rule to follow
  • Always wear helmets and seatbelts
  • While walking, use the sidewalks and walk carefully. Cross the road only at the zebra crossing
  • Always drive under the permitted speed limits
  • Never drive if you are drunk
  • Be mindful of the citizens, especially children and pedestrians

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FAQs: Road Safety Rules in India

What are Road Safety Rules?

Road safety rules are the measures that must be adopted by everyone while on the roads to maintain safety. We have already covered the various road safety rules in the post above for you to understand.

Why Is Road Safety Important?

Road safety is essential for the safety of people using the road.

Why are there safety rules on the road?

Road safety rules are there to ensure the safety of vehicle users, passengers, and pedestrians.

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Sep 25, 2023
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