Traffic Rules In India – Things You Do v/s Things You Should Do

Hi all, hope you enjoyed our previous blog on the 15 Destinations in India That are Popular amongst Foreigners. Today, we’ll take a look at some important pointers pertaining to traffic rules in India, i.e. the things you do v/s the things you should do. So, let’s dive in!

It is crazy, but the laws and regulations pertaining to the traffic rules in India, are rarely if ever, taken seriously.

What most people fail to understand is that these traffic rules and regulations are in place for a reason. And when people, both the driver as well as the pedestrian, waiting to cross the street, don’t follow them, it leads to complete chaos.

In this post, we bring to your attention Top 21 things you do v/s things you should do when it comes to following traffic rules in India.

Further, make sure to share this traffic rules in India guide with your loved one’s so that they too can be aware of the traffic rules in India and adhere to them.

Traffic Rules in India Guide

The below mentioned traffic rules and regulations & road safety rules are just a handful of stuffs that we all – drivers as well as pedestrians need to work upon.

Following the traffic rules mentioned here will make road travel a safe & happy experience or all. So, without further ado, let’s get started now!

1. Crossing The Road In spite Of The Signal Being Green For The Vehicles

Crossing The Road In spite Of The Signal Being Green For The Vehicles

Almost all traffic signals today have a timer attached to them and if you pay attention, you’ll notice that for a signal to turn red from green, it takes at the most 140 seconds.

Yes, you read that right!

140 seconds, which when calculated, is less than three minutes. So why is it that even waiting for such a minuscule amount of time seems like an eternity? Why is it that you would rather risk your life or someone else’s than wait for the signal to change before crossing?

Besides would a three-minute delay, really going to affect your life?

Probably not!

Still, more often than not, we blindly cross the street, without checking on the traffic lights, but this attitude needs to change and here’s what you should do;

  • Wait for the signal to turn red – red signal is an indication for all vehicles to halt.
  • Check in both direction – make sure that there is no moving vehicle coming your way from either direction. Then quickly cross to the other side of the street.

2. Cutting Lanes: Attempting To Take A Right Turn From The Extreme Left

Cutting Lanes: Attempting To Take A Right Turn From The Extreme Left

Probably one of the most unsafe things to do, as well as a source of much chagrin for other drivers, attempting to take a right turn from the far-left lane is the craziest thing you can do while driving.

Not only is this impulsive action against the traffic rules in India, but it is also irresponsible and can jeopardise the life of people inside the vehicle with you.

So what is the right way to go about it?

  • Drive on the right-hand-side – if you want to take a right-hand turn at the next intersection, keep driving on the right-hand-side of the lane.
  • Use an indicator to signal – turn on the blinker, to indicate you are waiting or about to take a right-hand turn.
  • Check your rear gate and blind spot – Stop, check your blind spot to see if there is any vehicle coming up behind you, check the intersection ahead and then proceed to complete your turn.

3. Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol

Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol

The most reckless of human behaviour, it doesn’t matter how much alcohol you have consumed, what matters is that driving while under the influence of alcohol, should never be considered an option by anyone.

Studies have shown, that even one drink is enough to impair your judgement and affect your driving skills. Thus, it is best that you;

  • Do not drink and drive – Call a friend to pick you up or rent a cab.
  • Always assign a sober person to drive you back when partying with a group.
  • Do not allow friends, family or colleagues to drive after drinking. Instead, call for a cab or drive them yourself.

4. Driving On The Wrong Side Of The One-Way Lane

Driving On The Wrong Side Of The One-Way Lane

Driving up a one-way street from the wrong side, though an innocuous transgression, is still something that makes life while driving unbearable. Not only does it cause undue traffic jams, but it also creates chaos, with people yelling, incessant honking etc.

What can you do about it?

  • Check for road signs – Before you enter a lane, check for road signs. One way traffic signs will be placed at the beginning of the road and at intervals along the way to inform motorists that the lane is one-way.
  • Install a GPS on your phone – In cases when there are no road signs readily visible, a GPS would keep you from going where you shouldn’t go.

5. Exceeding The Legal Speed Limit

Exceeding The Legal Speed Limit

One who thrills in speed often bleeds!

In spite of knowing the consequences of over-speeding, people still risk their lives by choosing to ignore warnings and go against the posted speed limit while driving.

Suffice to say, that such people have little regard for their own safety or the safety of others and as a result, the number of accidents due to over speeding have increased tremendously over the last few years.

So what can you do?

  • Always adhere to the speed limit – Speed limit is not a target that you need to achieve and hence, it is wise to drive at a safe speed.
  • Highways are not meant for racing – Just because the road is empty, does not give you the right to over speed. Strictly follow the permitted speed limits.
  • Don’t over speed to make up for lost time – If you are slowed down by traffic, it doesn’t mean that you should speed over at the next available opportunity.

Remember, sometimes it is better to be late than never reach!

6. Honking Unnecessarily, Especially While In Silence Zone

Honking Unnecessarily, Especially While In Silence Zone

So you are in a hurry and you think that honking incessantly will clear the roads ahead, guess what?

It won’t!

Not only are you further aggravating a problem caused by traffic, by continuously honking, but you are also adversely harming your own health. Because, apart from creating noise pollution, non-stop honking can lead to several health problems such as hypertension, panic attacks, etc.

Thus, to tackle this unnecessary evil, here is what you should do;

  • Honk only during an emergency – such as, if there is a patient in your car, who needs to be rushed to the hospital or in case your brakes fail.
  • Strictly adhere to the silence zone ruledon’t honk at all in silence zones, which include place of worship, hospitals, educational institutions and courts.

7. Jumping Traffic Signals

Jumping Traffic Signals

Half of the traffic woes would be solved if you would just stop jumping traffic signals.

Not only does jumping traffic signals lead to complete disorder and confusion, but it also causes undue traffic jams, which, in turn, cause the occasional road rage resulting in incessant honking.

Moreover, it’s just a two-step process

  • Follow traffic signal rules: Traffic lights are set-up as a means to direct vehicular traffic, with red for stop, green for go, and yellow for slow down or pause.
  • Await your turn: Wait for the signal to turn green, before moving your vehicle forward.

Simple, isn’t it?

8. Making A Sudden Turn On The Road Without Any Indication

Making A Sudden Turn On The Road Without Any Indication

Indicators or hand & arm signals, work as a means to inform other motorists, what you intend to do while driving so that they can make adjustments accordingly. Thus, when you fail to indicate your intention and make sudden turns, change lanes or use handbrake suddenly, it can create confusion among other drivers as well as cause your vehicle to skid and can lead to a collision.

Thus, here are some road safety rules that you should follow;

  • Use indicators– to let other motorists know your intention.
  • Give correct indication – Do not confuse the other motorists. Give correct indication, before you move your vehicle forward.
  • Hand signal – If your vehicle’s indicator or brake lights are not in working order, make sure you signal with your hand or arm, before proceeding further.
  • Check that the way is clear – Giving indication does not mean the road is clear, check before you act.

9. Making Kids Walk Between You And The Traffic

Making Kids Walk Between You And The Traffic

Though you would never intentionally put your child in danger, it happens sometimes that you forget this basic road safety rule while attempting to cross the street.

Making your child walk between you and the traffic is simply not done!

Besides compromising the safety of your child, this kind of behaviour can have fatal consequences, if there is an error of judgement on your part or on the part of the motorist on the street.

Here is what you should do

  • Always walk between your kid and the traffic – its the best way, to keep them out of harm’s way.
  • Hold their hands while crossing – kids can get easily distracted by the smallest of things and might not pay attention to the oncoming traffic, thus it is important that you hold their hands while crossing the street.
  • Familiarize your kids with traffic – teach them some basic rules, tell them what to do in and around traffic, so that they can learn to navigate it, without endangering themselves.

10. Making Your Child/Infant Sit On The Front Seat Or Stand At The Wheel

Another careless and grievous mistake you commit while driving is making your child or infant sit in the front seat of the car or worse still stand at the wheel.

What you don’t understand, is that both these actions can cause severe repercussions, in the case of a collision, with the child being thrown into the dashboard or through the windshield.

Besides, having a child in the front seat or making them stand in front of you while riding a bike, can distract you while driving, which in turn can hamper your driving skills and make you lose concentration.

Bottom line? Follow these safe driving tips.

  • Never make your child sit in the front seat – For safety reasons, children should always be seated in the back seat of your car.
  • Car seat is important – There is a risk of your child slipping from under an adult seatbelt. Thus, it is important that you install a child safety seat in your car, which will ensure that your child is safely strapped in.
  • Follow rules and drive safely – Safety of the child in the car precedes all other concerns. Do not for any reason compromise this rule.

11. Parking On The Wrong Side Of The Road

Parking On The Wrong Side Of The Road

Another traffic violation, parking on the wrong side of the street is illegal. Besides, parking in the wrong direction is also a dual offence, since it also indicates that you were driving on the wrong side of the road, to begin with.

What should you do?

  • Park appropriately – when you park legally, you avoid getting into trouble. Plus, it prevents from causing undue traffic congestion.
  • Park in the same direction as the moving traffic – because if you park your car the other way around, it confuses other drivers, especially at night, due to the obstruction caused by your reflector lights.
  • Prohibited parking space – refrain from parking in prohibited space such as a sidewalk, bus stop, handicapped zone, etc.

12. Not Giving Way For Ambulance, Fire Brigade And Police Car To Pass

Not Giving Way For Ambulance, Fire Brigade And Police Car To Pass

Giving way to the ambulance, fire brigade and police car, during an emergency should always be treated as a top priority because nothing is more urgent that saving someone’s life.

Thus, with this in mind, here are some basic traffic rules in India that you should follow when faced with an emergency

  • Make way – whenever you hear an emergency siren, move left and give “right of way” to the vehicle.
  • Volunteer – If you notice that there is only one traffic constable manning the traffic signal, volunteer to help him out with the traffic, so as to smooth the way for the oncoming emergency vehicle.
  • Be Proactive – Don’t be a mere onlooker, act spontaneously at the first sound of a siren on road.

13. Not Wearing Seatbelt While Driving

Not Wearing Seatbelt While Driving

“I won’t be in an accident, I am a safe driver. Besides seatbelts are just uncomfortable.”

This is the attitude people have when asked why they neglect to wear a seatbelt.

But what you don’t understand is, that even if you are a good driver, you can still be hit by a car, whose driver is reckless. Thus, for safety reasons and to minimise any potential harm you might experience in case of an accident,it is important that you always wear a seatbelt.

Besides, wearing a seatbelt is not a matter of choice, it is one of the driving rules in India that you must obey at all times.

  • Always wear your seatbelt – whether you are driving or sitting in the passenger seat, don’t forget to put on your seatbelt.
  • Never share a seatbelt – Carry only the number of people, that can each sit in a seat with a seat belt. Do not use a single seatbelt to strap in more than one person, especially small children.
  • During Pregnancy – pregnant women should always wear a seatbelt. Because if you are unrestrained, the risk of injury doubles up in the case of a collision or accident.

14. Overloading Your Vehicle With Luggage Or Passengers

Overloading Your Vehicle With Luggage Or Passengers

In spite of knowing what the rules of the road are, people still overload their vehicle, completely missing the point that such behaviour, not only affects their driving skills, but it also compromises their safety and that of other motorists on the street.

In addition, overloading also puts a lot of strain on your vehicle’s suspension, tyres, springs and wheel bearing, and can cause tyres to overheat, can cause the clutch to burn out, and in the worse case scenario, it can result in break failure.

Therefore, to avoid any unforeseeable danger it is important that you:

  • Know the weight limit of your car – look for a sticker on your door panel or check your ‘VIN Plate’ under the bonnet or check the handbook, to know the maximum weight limit of your car.
  • Never exceed the maximum permitted weight limit – Driver, passengers and luggage make up the weight of the car. Thus, if the maximum allowed weight of your car is 500 lbs and if you and your passenger weigh 125 lbs each, then you can carry only 250 lbs of weight in luggage or less.
  • Distribute Weight – For equal luggage weight distribution and safe handling, it is recommended that you always put bigger items in first and then pack smaller items around it.
  • Make sure luggage is secure – Items sliding around or tipping over whenever you brake or turn can be distracting as well as dangerous.

15. Overtaking From Wrong Side On The Highway

Overtaking From Wrong Side On The Highway

Life without caution is like a car without a brake!

Most motorists have a field day on the highway, where they completely ignore the speed limit, drive around rather recklessly and try to overtake all vehicles they come across, that too from the wrong side of the lane.

But what you need to remember is that, even though overtaking is acceptable on the highway, you still have to be cautious and follow rules of the road, to avoid any undue mishap. Because even a simple miscalculation on your part can prove dangerous to all motorists on the highway.

Here are a few road safety rules you should follow while overtaking:

  • Be safe – Check for any approaching traffic, check blind spot to make sure no other vehicle is overtaking your vehicle.
  • Give sufficient warning – before you attempt to overtake, signal your intention to all other nearby vehicles.
  • Maintain a safe gap – there should be a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle you are overtaking.
  • Give space – if another vehicle is overtaking your vehicle, give space and do not increase your speed until the other vehicle has moved ahead.

16. Riding A Motorbike Without Helmet And On The Wrong Side Of The Road

Riding A Motorbike Without Helmet And On The Wrong Side Of The Road

Riding a motorbike without a helmet is an utterly foolish venture and even though much has been said on this topic, people still refuse to play by the rule.

In addition, playing daredevil on the street by driving on the wrong side of the lane, is surely not a macho thing to do, but it is the quickest way to race towards an early grave.

Bottom Line?

  • Wear a helmet – It minimises the risk of fatal head injury, in the case of a collision or an accident. Plus you never get fined.
  • Obey rules – ride your bike at a decent speed limit. Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road. Always be careful while making a turn.
  • Zig-Zag driving – Zig-Zag driving on the streets, that too without a helmet is catastrophic, to say the least.

17. Speeding Up When The Signal Turns Yellow

Speeding Up When The Signal Turns Yellow

We know that a yellow traffic light does not indicate that a driver should drive fast before the signal turns red. However, in spite of it, why would you accelerate your car at a yellow signal, instead of slowing down as the rule suggests?

Or drive through a yellow signal as if you have stolen something and are afraid to stop, in case you get caught?

Whatever the reason, having a devil-may-care attitude, with regards to the yellow traffic light, is not in your best interest. And to refresh your memory here is a quick brief on what you should do when the traffic signal turns yellow:

  • if you are far away from the intersection, you need to slow down your car, when you notice that the traffic light has changed to yellow.
  • if you are close to the intersection, you need to keep going.
  • if you are almost at the intersection, then you have to go forward, because if you try to stop suddenly, it could lead to a rear-end crash with the vehicle behind you and would be in the middle of the intersection anyway.

Remember, your safety is in your own hands, take no chances!

18. Stopping Over The Zebra Line

Stopping Over The Zebra Line

The most common traffic violation you do while driving, stopping over the zebra line can get you fined. Plus it is also a hassle for pedestrians, who then have to cross the street haphazardly, risking their own safety.

Remember, that roads are meant for both the driver as well as the pedestrian, and as such both have a specific set of traffic rules, that they need to follow for their own personal safety.

Here are a few things you should do

  • Be cautious – it pays to be alert while driving. Check ahead before driving as pedestrians are often known to enter onto a zebra crossing with little regard for traffic.
  • Be considerate – pedestrians do not have solid protection around them. Thus, as a driver, it is important that you be considerate and keep a close watch on other road users.
  • Don’t speed – especially at a school crossing, because children sometimes do unexpected things.
  • Don’t take a risk – as a pedestrian, it is your duty to follow traffic rules diligently and not act in any way that might harm another individual. Wait, don’t take unnecessary risk.

19. Talking On The Phone While Driving

Talking On The Phone While Driving

Multitasking is never easy and to do so while driving, is a foolish proposition not worth undertaking. Researchers have indicated, that talking on the phone while driving, is akin to driving when drunk.

So the basic question is: Why do you flirt with disaster?

Because when you talk or text on your phone while driving, you are doing just that. For this reason, it is important that you;

  • Never talk on the phone or text while driving – it impairs your driving skills and leads to distraction.
  • About hands-free – any source of distraction is dangerous while driving. Using hands-free does not mean you’re safer.
  • >Install an app – There are apps that when enabled allow you to block incoming texts and calls while driving. When you receive a message or a call, the app alerts the sender, with a customised message, that you’re unable to respond at the moment.
  • In an emergency – in the case of an emergency, wait to send a text or make a call until your car is parked.

20. Throwing Garbage Or Spitting From Your Vehicles

Throwing Garbage Or Spitting From Your Vehicles

Littering or spitting on the streets is not only awful, but it is also unlawful!

You may or may not be aware of the danger involved in this behaviour, but accidents can happen because of garbage hitting and damaging windows. Or a cigarette butt thrown out casually might cause a fire if it lands on an area covered in fuel or oil.

Therefore, to curb this nuisance, here is what you should do

  • Do not litter – never throw empty packets of chips, soda cans, cigarette butts, etc, from your vehicle. It can be hazardous for other motorists on the street.
  • Do not spit – a disgusting and unhygienic habit, spitting on the street is simply not done.
  • Educate your friends & family – if you have noticed your friends or family members doing any of the above things, bring it to their notice and explain what their careless action can lead to.

21. Riding Triple Seat On A Motorbike

Riding Triple Seat On A Motorbike

Two is a company, three’s a crowd; riding triple seat on a motorbike is strictly not allowed!

A violation of driving laws, travelling triple seat on a motorbike is not only a legal offence, but it is also perilous for the safety of the driver as well as others riding along with him.

Hence it is important that you follow these safety rules on road;

  • Only carry one pillion rider – on a two-wheeler, you are permitted to carry only one pillion rider.
  • The rider should always sit behind the driver – Applying sudden brakes, may overthrow a person or a child. Thus, never allow any rider to sit or stand in front of you.
  • Do not carry goods on your two-wheeler – Extra weight can make you lose control and skid.


In conclusion, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’

By following this set traffic rules in India, you are not only being more efficient and effective in matters of road safety but are also playing your part of a responsible citizen.

Also remember, that some rules are just not meant to be broken!

Got any more traffic rules? Or Did we miss any road safety rules? If yes, let me know in the comments below!