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Traffic Rules In India That Everyone Should Know

Traffic rules are made to ensure safety of commuters on the roads. But sadly, in India, most people are either not aware of quite a number of rules or have a lot of misconception in terms of following the rules. Discussed below are some violations covered under The Motor Vehicle Act that might attract a fine.

Some Traffic Rules That You Probably Do Not Know:

  • Traffic Rules
    Generic laws (applicable everywhere in India):
    • Getting blocked at a parking lot: If the exit of your vehicle is blocked by another vehicle parked in front of yours at a parking lot, you can call the cops on the owner/driver of the vehicle who would have to pay a fine for blocking your way.
    • Non-functional horn: A driver can be slapped with a fine for driving a vehicle with a non-functional horn. Horns are used to warn other commuters on the road and is expected to be functional. The non-compliance of this law attracts a fine.
  • City based laws:
    • First aid: In Kolkata and Chennai, if a driver fails to provide first aid to his/her injured passenger after the vehicle meets with an accident, he/she might have to pay a fine or serve a period of three months in jail.
    • Smoking inside car: In Delhi-NCR, smoking inside a car is a violation of law. If somebody is found guilty of smoking inside a car, he/she might have to pay a fine.
    • Parking in front of public utility buildings or service spots: In Kolkata, parking a vehicle in front of a public utility building or service spots like bus stops is a violation of the law and might attract a fine.
    • Borrowing a car: In Chennai, if you are borrowing somebody’s car, it should be duly informed to the person. Failing to abide by the rule, you might be slapped with a hefty fine or three-month jail term.
    • Installing a video device: It is a punishable offence to install a TV or any other video device on the car’s dashboard, in Mumbai. Violation of this rule can attract a fine.
    • Idling the car: Leaving your car’s ignition on while it is idling is a violation of law in Mumbai and can be fined.

Some Common Myths Regarding Traffic Rules In India - Myth Buster!

Traffic rules are not always followed very closely, especially in India. That is also one of the major reasons that India is ranked high for road accidents and mortality. There are also certain myths regarding the Indian Traffic rules, which are believed to be true by a whole lot of citizens. Let us bust those myths in the following discussion.

Myth - 1

There is no need to follow the traffic lights past 10 PM:

Many a times, vehicles are engaged in accidents at night due to the disobedience of traffic lights. It is a common myth in India that there is no need to obey the traffic signals after 10 o’clock at night. There might be certain traffic signals which are turned off at night as the traffic goes down. Some might be fully or partly operational with blinking red or yellow lights. Let us understand the meaning of these lights.

Firstly, if the lights are fully functional, it should be obeyed. Secondly, if the signals are partially working, i.e. if the red or yellow lights are blinking, you need to understand the implication. A blinking red light means - Stop, Look, and Proceed. The blinking yellow light, on the other hand, asks you to - Slow down, Look, and Proceed.

Myth - 2

It is not an offense to reverse a vehicle on a one-way road:

This is one of the biggest misconceptions that Indian commuters have. It is not at all lawful to reverse a vehicles on a one-way road. What matters most on a one-way road is the direction of the traffic flow and not the direction the vehicle is facing.

Myth - 3

Parking anywhere is fine if it does not have a ‘No Parking’ board:

This is a very common practice in India. People often tend to park their vehicles anywhere as long as a ‘No Parking’ board is not put up. But there are certain exceptions. One cannot park their vehicle in front of a hospital or school entrance, bus stops, main roads, near traffic signals, or zebra crossings. Not complying to these rules might result in your vehicle being towed and fined for the offense.

Myth - 4

Overtaking is permitted only on the right:

The Indian Traffic rules necessitate a driver to drive on the left lane and thus overtaking is allowed only on the right. However, it is not always applicable. If a car in the front is taking a right turn and has turned the right blinker on, the car at the back is permitted to overtake from the left, provided there is ample room to do so.

Myth - 5

It is OK to drive or ride with your headlights at high beam all the time:

The high beams offer you a better visibility in unlit or dark areas as the range of light is longer than low beams. Using high beams while driving on highways or unlit rural roads is a necessity. But using the high beam in a crowded and well-lit area is very dangerous as the oncoming traffic can be blinded because of the lights, leading to a mishap. It is also important to switch to low beam whenever there is an oncoming vehicle or when you are driving behind another vehicle.

Myth - 6

It is OK to drive even after drinking if the driver had food after drinking:

This is a huge misconception. Eating food along with your alcoholic drink or after your drink does reduce the alcohol absorption. But the absorption is somewhere around 10 percent to 20 percent. The blood alcohol concentration or blood alcohol content (also known as BAC) should not be more than 0.03 percent. That is 30 mg for every 100 ml of blood. This is the legal limit. But if an average sized adult has had two or more drinks, he/she is highly likely to be well past the prescribed BAC limit.

Myth-7

Using handsfree device to attend phone calls is safe and not a violation of law:

The Indian traffic rules clearly designates the usage of mobile phones while driving as a violation of law. The usage of cell phones while driving is bound to make the driver distracted and thus increases the chances of a mishap. In fact, talking over the phone causes more distraction than listening to music on the car’s stereo system. Many drivers have the mindset that using a headset to talk over the phone is fine. But in reality, using a headset can block the external noises like horns and other vehicles and that is detrimental in all possible ways.

Traffic rules are made and asked to be followed to ensure our safety. There’s no harm in following them and staying safe on the roads. Knowing and following traffic rules just helps you become a better and safer commuter.

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