Over 15,0000 people in India are killed every year due to traffic accidents. With a per day average of 400 fatalities, India has one of the highest rates of accidents in the whole world. One of the prime reasons for these accidents is negligence of road safety norms and traffic signs. Be it a pedestrian or a person driving a car/motorcycle, having awareness about road safety norms and traffic signs is an absolute necessity in today’s time.
Traffic signs provide us with important instructions and information on the condition of roads. They not only help in the smooth flow of traffic but also guide and warn people on how they should conduct themselves while on the roads. Drivers who are pre-informed about the points of entry, exit, turns, and other road conditions by way of traffic signs naturally make less number of mistakes and reach their destinations in a smooth manner.
In India, any person applying for a driving licence is required to be familiar with road safety signs and traffic signals. They need to go through a written/oral test in order to obtain the driving licence. Here are some of the ways in which traffic signs act as a traffic management tool:
- Road signs inform drivers the correct lanes to take so that they can avoid blockages caused due to abrupt turns.
- Provide significant information about sensitive junctions and curves, speed limit, and presence of hospitals or schools nearby so that drivers can adjust their pace accordingly.
- Inform vehicle owners about available/restricted parking areas, entry and exit points, and more.
- Guide heavy, medium, and light vehicles with proper division of lanes.
- Ensure discipline on the roads by the implementation of lane discipline and overtaking rules.
- Inform motorists about directions to take, potential dangers ahead, and rules to follow on highways.
In recent years, the law enforcement and government authorities have emphasised bringing stricter rules when it comes to granting of driving licences and imposing penalties on traffic violations. Cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, and others have serious problems with respect to the implementation of traffic regulations and it is important for people to make the right use of road signs to navigate through roads with ease. There are primarily three types of traffic signs that everyone should be aware of. The same are as follows:
Mandatory Traffic Signs
Mandatory traffic signs ensure free movement of traffic on the roads and make motorists and pedestrians mindful of rules, regulations, and prohibitions while using the roads. Violation of mandatory traffic rules is an offence under the law. Traffic signs like ‘One Way’, ‘No Entry’, and ‘Overtaking Prohibited’ are some of the examples of mandatory traffic rules.
Cautionary Traffic Signs
The cautionary traffic signs warn road users in advance about potential hazards and dangers on the roads. It helps drivers to be mentally prepared for any difficulties and bottlenecks while moving forward. ‘Steep Ascent’, ‘School Ahead’, ‘Narrow Road’, and ‘Dangerous Dip’ are some of the examples of cautionary traffic signs.
Informatory traffic signs help road users with information about the directions, distance, destinations, alternative routes, and important locations such as schools, hospitals, public toilets, and more. Some of the examples are ‘Right Hand Curve’, ‘Pedestrian Crossing’, ‘Cattle’, and more.
Importance of Traffic Signs and Road Rules
The alarming rate of road accidents is one of the biggest causes of worry in India. In the past decade, there have been many regulations and rules introduced to promote road safety in the country. However, many of these regulations have not seen much success at the grass root level. This is why it is important to educate people from their early age so that they grow up to be responsible citizens.
Road safety rules are not only limited to be used by motorists and drivers but also by pedestrians, cyclists, and others. While on the road, one must carefully observe traffic sign boards and follow the same with patience and consideration. This will not only ensure smooth flow of traffic by bringing down congestion but also help people avoid potential mishaps while on the roads.