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7 Essential Traffic Rules Every Vehicle Driver Should Know in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 29/09/2021

Driving on the road is a great civic responsibility. However, we should be aware that other road users are entitled to safe access and movement on the road as much as we are. The law related to motor vehicles is quite extensive and comprehensively covers aspects such as ownership of the vehicle, driving conditions, insurance, rules of road use etc. all with the singular objective of ensuring fair and secure use of public roads to all who travel in them.

The most important requirements are that you have a valid registration certificate, carry all important documents while driving, follow all driving regulations and buy car insurance policy and keep it active at all times.

What are the Traffic Rules in India?

The traffic rules in India are framed under the Motor Vehicles Act, and the latest updated rules came into effect in September 2019. Under this Act, several penalties are prescribed for the violation of the traffic rule guidelines. Therefore, we must understand the important provisions under the Act so that we may follow them properly. All rules of traffic are coupled with proper compliance with traffic signs. It is, therefore, necessary to know about these signs first. The traffic signs may be mandatory, such as No Parking, No Entry, No Overtaking, Horn Prohibited, etc. cautionary such as Narrow Road ahead, Narrow Bridge ahead, Slippery road, Sharp bend etc. and informative such as Petrol Pump, Public Toilet, Hospital etc. We should be thorough in interpreting the road signs correctly so that we can drive with confidence.

As mentioned above, traffic signs should be followed along with proper road etiquette. To enforce acceptable standards of road usage, we have the following traffic rules in India:

  • Do not drink and drive: This rule requires that we should not drive a vehicle if we have consumed alcohol of a specified amount as it would impair our judgement while driving. Put simply, if the alcohol content in our blood is higher than a certain amount, we should not drive a vehicle. At present, the prescribed acceptable amount of alcohol is less than 30 mg per 100 ml of blood. It is always good to have a sober person drive the car when we have had a few rounds of alcohol.

  • Do not drive without a valid driving licence: A driving licence is government-issued proof that we can drive on the roads. Besides the age requirement, a driving licence is issued after we pass a few tests, including a driving test under the supervision of an RTO inspector. Therefore, we should always carry our driving licence while venturing out.

  • Always carry a valid insurance policy: Insurance is meant to protect others who might be affected by accidents caused by our negligence or incompetence. Therefore, we cannot lodge an insurance claim to reimburse either the third party or our expenses without a valid insurance policy. It is easy to buy a car insurance policy online from the Tata AIG website, and you can also renew the policy online.

  • Wear a seat belt/helmet while driving a car/bike: The seat belt is a safety feature meant to protect the car's driver from the impact of a collision in an accident. It reduces the extent of grievous injury and makes the rescue of the driver easy from a mangled car. Similar to the seat belt in a car, the helmet protects the bike rider from head and spinal cord injuries in an accident. Although different states have different rules for helmet use, this is a good traffic rule to follow for our safety.

  • Do not use a mobile phone while driving: This rule is of fairly recent origin as the government felt that the use of mobile phones while driving distracted drivers and caused accidents. In particular, with two-wheeler drivers, the precarious nature of driving while speaking on the phone puts their life at great risk.

  • Do not over-speed: Speed limits have been prescribed for major public roads depending on traffic flow and time of day. Therefore, we should obey them and drive within the speed limits. Often, youngsters take their high-power bikes and high-end cars for racing on the road, which is expressly prohibited. The insurance for cars does not cover losses caused due to overspeeding.

  • Please do not ignore the red signal: Popularly called jumping a red light, we should stop right when the amber sign shows up. We should not cross the pedestrian line when the red light turns on. Further, we should signal to other users following us that we are stopping at the signal. Thus, stopping at the signal helps the oncoming traffic move smoothly or take a right turn without a pile-up.

What are the Penalties for Violating the Traffic Rules in India?

As responsible citizens, you should be aware of the road rules and comply with them scrupulously. It is also important to note the various penalties that have been prescribed under the updated Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. This will act as a deterrent to us and educate other drivers about the need to follow the traffic rules. The table below gives a snapshot of the offences and the penalties.

Offence Penalties
Drunken driving If the breathalyzer test shows a higher amount (>30 mg) - ₹10,000 and/or 6 months jail term for the first offence and ₹15,000 and/or 2 years jail term for subsequent occurrence.
Driving without a valid licence ₹5,000 or community service
Driving without valid motor insurance ₹2,000 and/or a jail term of 3 months for the first offence and ₹4000 and/or a jail term of 3 months for the second offence
Not wearing a seat belt during driving ₹1,000 or community service
Not wearing a helmet ₹1,000 and/or licence disqualification for 3 months and additionally community service
Racing on public roads ₹5,000 and/or 3 months jail term and additionally community service ₹10,000 for future offence and/or 1-year jail term
Overspeeding For LMVs: ₹1000–₹2000 and for HPVs: ₹2000–₹4000; additionally, license disqualification/cancellation.
Using mobile phones while driving ₹500–₹1000
Jumping the red signal For the first offence, ₹1,000–₹5,000 and/or 6 months to 1-year jail term; ₹10,000 and/or up to 2 years jail term for a future offence. Licence is seized and could be disqualified or cancelled.

At the minimum, you should have third party insurance for four wheelers in order to drive your car on public roads. However, to protect your car from any damage, you should go for a comprehensive car insurance policy.

Tata AIG car insurance online support helps us to complete the policy purchase in three simple steps.

  • Simply give details about the car and your basic personal information.
  • You can choose from a number of add-ons like Roadside Assistance, Zero Depreciation Cover, Return to Invoice , etc.
  • The premium calculator would provide the premium payable under the policy

On making the payment and submitting the documents in soft copy, you can download the policy online. You can also renew an existing car insurance policy online. You can also check the policy for details and request any edits or corrections in them.

Conclusion

We have seen that road rules play an important role in the smooth flow of traffic. They also ensure that all road users can drive safely and reach their destination without any difficulties. Along with obeying the traffic rules in India, we should also have adequate insurance coverage for the vehicle we are driving to safeguard ourselves from any financial losses due to an unfortunate accident.

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