Road Safety Rules in India – Road Safety Tips
Team CARS24
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Road Safety Rules in India – Road Safety Tips

Team CARS24

Road safety is of prime importance as road accidents are among the biggest causes of deaths in the country. With the number of vehicles on our roads increasing with every passing hour, it’s of vital importance for everyone to have traffic awareness and understand and respect all the road safety rules in India.

Road Safety Rules And Regulations

  • Keep To Your Left – Always drive or ride on the left side of the road and let other vehicles overtake you from the right side.
  • Stay Left When You Turn Left – When turning towards left, start with approaching the curb from the left-most lane and ensure there’s enough distance for oncoming vehicles to pass.
  • Turn Right – Come to the centre of the road before you start turning right but when going around the curb, try to stay towards the left-most part of your lane to avoid contact with oncoming traffic.
  • Always Overtake from the right side.
  • When being overtaken by another vehicle, never increase your speed to prevent the other driver from overtaking you.
  • Be extra careful on intersections. Also, when passing through them, ensure your vehicle doesn’t cause inconvenience to other road users.
  • Right of Way- Always give a right of way to vehicles on intersections by letting them continue without stopping in that particular direction in which you are about to proceed.
  • Emergency Vehicles – It is your responsibility to give way to emergency services vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at pedestrian crossings or zebra crossings.
  • “U” Turns- U-turns can only be taken when there is no warning sign nearby you give a proper indication to other vehicle drivers that you are going to take a U turn
  • Indicators – Always use indicators to let other road users know about the planned change in the direction of travel. If your vehicle indicators get damaged without any warning, use hand signals
  • Parking – Make sure you don’t park your vehicle in a way it causes any hurdle or disturbance to any other road users.
  • Registration – Your vehicle’s registration plate should be visible at all times. In case it is broken or damaged, you need to get it replaced at the earliest. Driving a vehicle with its registration number not being visible is a serious offence.
  • One way Roads – Always drive only in the permissible direction on a one-way road. Also, never park your vehicle in reverse on a one way street.
  • Stop Lines – Always stop your vehicle behind the stop lines. On roads with no stop lines, make sure your vehicle comes to a halt before the Zebra-crossing.
  • Towing – No vehicles should be towed closer to other vehicles on the road. However, vehicles that are mechanically disabled and those confiscated by the police are exceptions to this rule.
  • Noise – Drivers should not horn needlessly or excessively or use them in no-honking zones like hospital zones and school zones, etc. Also, one should not drive with non-OEM-spec silencers
  • Traffic Lights and Signs should be always obeyed. One should respect instructions given by a traffic cop when there are no traffic lights available.
  • Following Distance – Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you as this will give you enough time to come to a stop in case the vehicle in front brakes suddenly.
  • Right of way on Steep Roads – When going up on an incline, you have the right of way as it might be difficult for you to stop and regain momentum. The vice versa holds true when you’re driving downhill.
  • Obstruction of View – You should always have a clear view of the road ahead. Therefore, your car’s windshield shouldn’t have stickers that might obstruct your view.
  • Passing Pedestrians Do not drive at more than 25 km/hr, when you passing a procession, meeting, strike, or a march.
  • Tractor and Goods Carriages – It is prohibited to carry passengers on a tractor or a goods carrier
  • Loading – Overloading a vehicle is not only dangerous but even illegal. Therefore, one should not carry more than a permissible number of passengers or excessive luggage that the vehicle isn’t designed to carry.
  • Dangerous Materials – One should not carry explosives, inflammable or harmful substances as they are a fire hazard.
  • Driving in Reverse – When driving in reverse, you should make sure you do not cause annoyance to any other people on the road.
  • Essential Documents – Always carry the following documents – Driving license,  Registration certificate of the vehicle, Insurance certificate, fitness certificate (in case of commercial vehicle), tourist permit (in case of commercial vehicle) and PUC certificate.
  • Additional Regulations – In addition to the above, the drivers should be aware of al the road safety rules, such as those of speed limit, one-way streets, etc.

Also Read – Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019

Road Safety Rules for Kids / Children

Know your Safety Signals

Your kid should know about basic traffic signals, such as vehicles have to stop at the ‘red’ light and ‘green’ means the vehicle should resume driving, etc. Doing so will help them understand that they can cross a road once the vehicles come to a stop.

Also Read – Traffic Signal Rules and Traffic Light Rules of India

Safety Rules while crossing the road

Stop, Look, And Cross- At times, your child may have to walk on a public road alone, He should know that when crossing a street, he should first stop and look for any approaching vehicle and start crossing the street only if there’s no vehicle in sight. Of course, at traffic signals, he should cross the road only when the light goes red.

Also Read – Traffic Signs and Road Safety Signs in India

Always Pay Attention – Listen to Warnings

Pay Attention – Ask your kids to pay attention to horns and even to sounds of the vehicle so that they can judge if there is some car or motorcycle driving towards them from a bend or from behind.

Never Run On Busy Roads and Crossing Time

Don’t Run On Roads – Children should never run on roads as that might not only cause them to lose balance and fall on a busy street but also because it might confuse other road-users, who might end up colliding with the kid.

Always Use Sidewalk

Kids should use a footpath (Sidewalk) when walking on the road. Set an example for them by using the walking paths yourself.

Crossroads and Pedestrian Crossing – Kids tend to start running or walking across a street, anywhere they wish to. This is dangerous and kids should be to told to cross a road only on a pedestrian crossing and when the vehicular movement is suspended during a red light.

Also Read : Challan for Red Light Jumping

Never Stick Hands Outside The Vehicle

Kids often put their hands out of the school bus or at times, even put their heads out but this is very dangerous and kids should be told to not do this at any cost.

Avoiding Blind Spots

Never Cross Road At Bends – There are blind spots for many motorists on a bend and they might not be able to see your child crossing a road on the bend. Hence, kids should avoid crossing the road at bends.

Staying Safe On A Bicycle – In case your child uses a bicycle, he should avoid riding it fast and always wear a helmet. Also, he should ensure the bicycle is in good condition and always ride it in a bicycle lane. In case the bicycle lane isn’t present, he should ride it in the left-most lane.

Staying Safe Inside A Moving Vehicle – In a moving vehicle, a kid should be always belted up, never stand or disturb the driver.

Being Safe When getting in and out of Vehicles

Always Get Out At The Curb Side  – Always get off the bus from the curbside so that there’s no danger of colliding with a moving vehicle.

Never open the car door suddenly as there might be a vehicle coming from behind and sudden opening of the door might cause the vehicle to collide with it.

Never do the Multitask While Walking on Roads

Be Seen, Stay Safe – Never dress in dark clothes when going out at night. It is important that vehicle drivers notice you from a reasonable distance.

Also, be focused on the road and stay aware of the surroundings. Do not multitask.

Crossing the Road Only at Zebra Crossings

Children should remember that pedestrians have the right of way at pedestrian crossings or zebra crossings and should use them to cross a road when vehicles have stopped at a red light. Never play or run at bus stops or on the road

Road Safety Rules for Cars

Following are the road safety rules for cars but these should not only be followed by the drivers but even other occupants of a car or an SUV.

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  • Always wear your seat-belt – Make sure you’re belted up at all times, even if you’re in the rear seat. This will not only save you from fines but will even keep you protected.
  • Avoid distractions – Distracted driving is among the major causes of accidents. Hence, one should avoid taking phone calls while driving. Basically, a driver should stay fully focussed on road at all times.
  • Never ever drive under the influence of alcohol or any sort of intoxicating substance. Doing so can lead you to lose control while driving and end up in a mishap. It’s also illegal to drive drunk or in an intoxicated state.
  • Always respect the speed limits as driving at higher speeds can land you with a challan and worst, still, cause an accident.
  • Maintain your car – One should always maintain his car to ensure high road safety as driving an ill-maintained vehicle can cause an accident, thereby causing injury to you as well as other road users.  

 Road Safety Rules for Bikes

While most of the tips mentioned above can be applied to all motorcycle users, here two additional road safety rules in India a two-wheeler user should always remember –

  • Wear a helmet – While wearing a helmet for a long period can be uncomfortable for some, it keeps you protected not only from collisions at the time of a fall but even from wind blasts when riding at high speeds.
  • Avoid swerving between lanes – Many 2-wheeler users love to ride across lanes and squeeze in tiny gaps but it’s advisable to avoid all this to avoid accidents. One should follow lane discipline and avoid sudden manoeuvring.  

Also Read: Traffic Challan Without Helmet

Traffic and Road Safety Issues

It is true that both the authorities and the road users are totally informed about the need for enhanced road safety and traffic awareness. Still, there are many traffic safety issues in India.

  • Negligence of Civilians: It’s true that the civilians make the most hue and cry about the road safety issues. Still, however, the same people can be often seen not respecting the traffic rules. This is something that is quite worrying as they take rules lightly even after knowing that breaking the road safety rules is dangerous.
  • Poor Condition of roads: Another huge road safety issue that we face is that of poor infrastructure. Poor road designs and badly maintained roads often lead to mishaps. They also take a toll on the vehicles.  
  • Unsafe Vehicle Design: It is not uncommon to see Indian manufacturers not paying as much importance to the safety quotient of their vehicles as they do on vehicles they sell in the west. It’s important to look into this urgently and come up with a solution.
  • Under-implementation of Road Safety Standards: At times, the required road signs or markings are missing, which is something that should be corrected at the earliest.
  • Indifferent Government: Lack of proper planning by the government often leads to motorists suffering from poor road safety standards. It has also been seen that the contractors who offer at least 10 years of warranty on their projects abroad make sub-standard roads in India that get washed away in monsoon.
  • Lack of proper law enforcement’s: Having laws is one thing and their enforcement is something other. While proper laws are already in place, the need of the hour is to implement them to the fullest.
  • Lack of Emergency Services: Often, some of our roads lack emergency services and in case of an accident, a quick response team is simply not available. Often, the victim succumbs to his injuries by the time he is taken to a hospital.

Also Read – New Traffic Rules in India – Fines for Traffic Violations

What steps can be taken to improve Road Safety in India?

Different sectors of society should join hands in this direction to ensure high traffic awareness and that road safety rules in India are followed. Here is all that the government and public need to work on –

  • Launch and proper implementation of road safety policies.
  • Effective use of resources to ensure high road safety.
  • Allocate higher funds for road safety programmes
  • Local government can play a leading role in proper implementation of road safety rules in India by proper planning of road facilities in residential areas
  • Curb the menace of drunk driving
  • Provide support and leadership for road safety campaigns and initiatives.
  • Persuade local communities to participate in workshops on an understanding of road safety rules in India.
  • Promote road safety education in schools so that the required knowledge can be provided at an early age
  • Assist in the life-long education of road users.
  • Media can help improve community awareness by getting an understanding of factors that cause road accidents and then spreading awareness on the same.
  • Media can also support road safety initiatives through
  • Police and Enforcement Agencies can behaviour and temperament of road user behaviour and vehicle standards through a balance of education, encouragement and effective enforcement strategies.
  • Maximise the effectiveness of enforcement through the use of proven techniques and technology.
  • Police can also use crash data to identify sensitive areas and then work on mitigating the mishap-causing factors.
  • Health Agencies can ensure the development of effective emergency services
  • Advise patients of the effects of drugs and medication on road user performance.
  • Provide feedback from injury assessment to improve vehicle occupant protection and road safety policy.
  • The authorities should adopt effective and safe traffic management measures in planning transport and land-use developments.
  • Pay particular attention to the safety requirements of people with disabilities, older people, children, pedestrians, bicycle riders and other non -motorised road users in the planning task.
  • Road Engineers and Highway Authorities can Improve the safety performance of the road network by ensuring proper planning, construction and maintenance
  • Apply crash reduction and crash prevention techniques to create safer roads
  • Alcohol and Hospitality Entertainment Industry can adopt responsible standards of alcohol serving and host responsibility programmes for drivers
  • Usage of better labelling of the alcoholic content of beverages.
  • Promote the consumption of low-alcohol beverages in preference to higher ones
  • Car companies can improve the crashworthiness of their vehicles.
  • Introduce in-vehicle crash avoidance technology.
  • Use advertisements and CSR activities to promote road safety rules in India.
  • Only less than 5-year-old to be imported
  • Use more modern vehicles, particularly in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment
  • Advertisers can stop advertising products which glamorize unsafe driving practices
  • Advertisers can also encourage safer practices and products.
  • Universities can ensure there is equal importance given to basic and applied topics.
  • Universities can also ensure that road safety research is of high quality and that its implication takes place properly
  • Provide reliable research results and knowledge against which policy decisions can be made.
  • All Organization can promote safe practices in fleet operation.
  • Larger fleet operators can encourage staff to participate in defensive driving courses
  • Individual Road Users can commit to oneself to improve road safety by respecting the traffic safety rules

Road Safety Initiatives taken by Indian Government

The Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways (M.O.R.T.H.) has taken a number of steps to promote high traffic awareness and proper implementation of road safety. This is being done through –

  • Important Schemes administered by Road Safety cell are:
  • Publicity Programs
  • Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organizations for organizing road safety programs
  • National Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme
  • Refresher Training to Heavy Vehicle Drivers in Unorganized Sector
  • Setting up of Model Driving Training school

As per the huge road sector program undertaken by M.O.R.T.H., the government of India has been working closely with World Bank and Asian Development Bank to improve road safety. The steps that are taken for this include-

  • The most important project undertaken by the Indian Government has been the “National Highway Development Program”, “Rural Roads Project” under the leadership of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 
  • “NGOs” have come up in many cities to deal with this problem at their levels.
  • “Police Departments” hold road safety weeks, painting competitions. 
  • “Road Safety Cell” of the ministry has also been working closely to strengthen institutions and organizations. They have come up with an awards scheme for awarding organizations/individuals making outstanding contribution in the fields.

Road Safety Tips

Few important Road Safety Tips are mentioned below :

  • Never use the mobile phone while driving
  • Always use seatbelt even when occupying the rear seat
  • Don’t drink and drive 
  • Adhere to speed limits 
  • Take special care of children, senior citizens and pedestrians. 
  • Don’t drive under fatigue
  • Walk cautiously on public roads
  • Always observe other road users and try to ensure your safety from their vehicles
  • Keep your distances
  • Always wear helmets and seat belts

International Best Practices for traffic and road safety

Looking at some of the international best practices can be of great use to improve the safety standards of Indian roads. Some of the best road safety measures that can be adopted from other parts of the globe are-

Sustainable Safe Road System in Netherland aims to prevent accidents and in case it happens, the consequences can be minimized. This has been done through an increase in the size of zones to 30km/hr in, built-up areas and 60km/hr outside built-up areas.

Road Safety Audits: Basically, it’s a formal procedure for an assessment of the crash potential and safety performance of road design by a non-government body. This practice was first started in Great Britain and was then adopted by many other counties.

Safety Inspection: Designates a periodic review by a trained expert of the safety aspect. It involves safety inspections by trained experts.

Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Use: In India, it’s mandatory for motorcycle users to wear a helmet but not for bicycle users. In many countries, it’s required by even bicycle users to wear a helmet and the same should be done in India.

Bicycle Side Reflections: To increase their visibility during night and twilight on the front and rear side of the bicycle is reflected to reduce accidents.

Placement of Intelligent Speed Assistance devices in the vehicle can help in comparison of speeds at which a car is being driven and a warning can be issued to its drivers.

Alcohol Ignition Interlock: This is a device that prevents engines of vehicles from starting in case the driver is too drunk. Alcolocks are currently being used in the the US, Canada and Australia.

In France, there is a compulsory curriculum on road safety right from Kindergarten till driving license age of the students.


Q: How do you teach road safety?

A: When teaching about road safety to someone, you can start with focussing on the core steps –
1. Always wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car
2. Always wear a helmet when travelling on a 2-wheeler
3. Never drive or ride in an intoxicated condition
4. Never use a cellphone when operating a motor vehicle
5. Cross a road only on a zebra/pedestrian crossing
6. Pay attention to horns to be aware of a vehicle near you
7. Follow all traffic rules while driving

Q: What is the importance of road safety rules?

A: It should be well-known that road traffic injuries are one of the highest public health hazards and in order to bring down the mishaps, one should be well aware of the road safety rules.

Q: What are the important traffic rules?

A: Here are some of the most important traffic rules –
1. Never Drink & Drive
2. Always Wear Seat Belt
3. Keep a Safe Distance from the vehicle ahead
4. Always Avoid Distractions
5. Never Break Red Signal
6. Always Drive Within Speed Limit
7. Avoid the Drowsiness While Driving
8. Watch Out For Drivers On the Road
9. Be Extra Careful in Bad Weather or Poor Driving Conditions
10. Maintain Your Vehicle in a good shape

Q: What are the 3 types of traffic signs?

A: There are 3 different types of traffic signs – Regulatory, Warning and Guide

Q: What are road safety rules?

A: Here are some basic road safety rules –
1. Understand Traffic Signals. …
2. Stop, Look, And Cross the road
3. Pay Attention to vehicular movement around you
4. Don’t Run On Roads
5. Always Use Sidewalks/Footpaths
6. Use Pedestrian Crossing for walking across road
7. Never Stick Hands Outside The Vehicle
8. Never Cross Road At Bends

Q: What are the rules for crossing the road?

A: Here are some rules you should follow while crossing the road
1. Walk straight across the road – don’t jay-walk.
2. Keep checking in both directions to make sure the way is clear.
3. Try not to cross the road from between parked cars or near trees and bushes as drivers may not see you.
4. Avoid crossing near a bend or crest in the road.

Q: What rules should be followed while crossing the road?

A: Following rules should be followed while crossing the road
1. Don’t run but don’t walk too slowly either. Also, walk straight and don’t jay-walk.
2. Look in both directions to ensure there is no chance of collision with a vehicle.
3. Do not cross the road from between parked vehicles or near trees and bushes as drivers may not be able to see you.
4. Avoid crossing a road near a bend as the drivers might not be able to see you

Q: How to teach children road safety

A: Regardless of the age of your child, road safety is something that you need to tell him or her about. You can focus on the following core steps-
1. Cross the road only on zebra crossing and when the traffic is at standstill. In narrow roads with no zebra strip, cross only when no vehicle is approaching.
2. While walking, use sidewalk/footpath and approach a kerb slowly
3. When crossing a road, look right, look left and if road is clear, cross it. Don’t run.
4. Stay alert and pay attention to horns to know about the vehicles in your surroundings.

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