Road Manners


Right from the historic times roads have been an integral part of human beings. The importance of roads have increased with development of civilization and increase in the number of vehicles. However, in recent times we find that the number of road accidents are increasing causing severe loss of life and property. Hence, there is an urgent need to educate road users to avoid accidents. In this leaflet, some important tips on road safety are given for observation by all road users.

Drive only if you are competent enough

A person must drive a vehicles only if he is competent enough to drive it.

  • Drive only if you are a competent driver with a valid license.
  • If You are not competent enough, than learn driving in an authorised driving training school.
  • Learn driving on roads only during morning hours when traffic is low and never during busy hours.

Be Familiar With Road Markings

For smooth movement and disciplined traffic, some roads are provided with different markings of which you should be aware. These markings are done in white and yellow colours. So, be aware of these markings :

Road Driving Lines:

These markings are done to divide a road, not divided by elevated dividers, into two parts.
These are marked sometimes by single yellow lines and sometimes by double yellow lines in the centre of the road. 
As per rule, you should always drive in the left side of the road.

Lane Markings :

These markings are done by white dotted lines and divide the road or part of the road in different lanes. 
Stick to your lane and change it only as per rules.

Stop Lines :

These lines are marked in white before traffic lights and zebra crossings. 
Always stop before the stop line if the light is yellow or red.

Turning Lines :

These lines in arrow from and painted in white indicate left or right turn or straight drive.

Lane Driving for Safety

The best way to be safe on the roads :

  • Stick to your lane.
  • Wherever available, bicycle riders and pedestrians should use bicycle tracks and foot paths.
  • On multi-lane roads there are separate lanes for different vehicles and the drivers should stick to these lanes.
  • Change your lanes only if you have to overtake some other vehicles or take right turn.

While overtaking, a driver must take the following steps :

  • Check behind on your right and if there is no vehicle approaching you, move to the right side of your lane.
  • Keep a following distance sufficient enough to permit acceleration, signal right and move ahead of the vehicle you have to overtake.
  • After securing sufficient distance from the overtaken vehicle, signal left and change direction gently.
  • Never overtake a vehicle from left.
  • Never overtake a vehicle which is already overtaking some other vehicle.
  • Follow rules 1 and 2 for right turn.

Learn to Negotiate a Roundabout

Most of the towns and city roads of our country have by and large, crossings. However, there are several roundabouts in our country where there are no traffic lights. Drivers are expected to negotiate them according to their prudence. Apart from beautification, these roundabouts facilitate smooth flow of traffic. So while negotiating a roundabout, follow these rules.

  • While approaching a roundabout, fix your direction and slow down.
  • Take left lane for a left turn. Use central and right lane only for going straight and taking a right turn.
  • Give appropriate signal by hand or through indicator, before taking a turn.
  • Do not use horns unnecessarily.
  • Always give way to the vehicles on your right.

Know Road Signs and Honour Them

For a smooth movement of traffic, certain road signs have been given which must be followed for safe driving.

There are three types of road signs :

  • Mandatory road signs that are circular with one or two bars.
  • Cautionary road signs that are triangular.
  • Informatory road signs that are square shaped or rectangular.

For a safe driving, Cautionary road signs are as important as Mandatory signs. You can distinguish these signs through their designs. Follow these signs for a safe and smooth journey.

Understand Traffic Lights and Signals - Be Safe

Traffic lights and signals are the language of the road. Be well acquainted with them, and act accordingly, you will be safe. Not following them can put you and other road users in danger. Therefore, understand the meaning of traffic lights and signs.

Traffic Lights :

There are three colours in traffic lights.

  • Red light means mandatory stop.
  • Yellow light warns you and tells you to prepare for halt, never try to cross the intersection when the light is yellow.
  • Green means proceed ahead slowly after ensuring that no vehicle is cross-crossing.

Traffic Signals :

All drivers must understand the signals of traffic constables and fellow drivers and honour them. Drivers must understand the stop, move, left turn, right turn, go straight or slow down signals of the traffic constable and fellow drivers on the road and act accordingly.

Drivers must understand the stop, move, left turn, right turn, go straight or slow down signals of the traffic constable and fellow drivers on the road and act accordingly.

Driving Up A Hill

Driving in hilly areas is a testing time even for seasoned drivers since the topography of hills is extremely different from those of the plains. Hence, while driving in a hilly terrain, you must keep following points in mind :

  • Never overload your vehicle as it can be taxing for your vehicle and can put extra load on steering.
  • The roads in hilly areas are generally narrow and at many places traffic flows from both directions. Always allow a heavier vehicle or up going vehicle to pass by - down coming vehicles should provide enough room for ascending vehicles.
  • In case of rain, snowfall, landslide or gravel falling situation, stop your vehicle near some wide patch of the road where hills are strong.
  • Do not drive in hilly areas during night hours unless you are in an emergency.
  • Approaching a turn, slow down your vehicle to the level of halt, use horn and then move slowly.

Night Drivers

Driving during nights are extremely different from day driving and most of the accidents take place during nights.

This is because : Most of the city roads, except highways have lesser movement of traffic. Drivers indulge in over speeding and red light jumping etc. causing accidents. The visibility during nights become less and may lead to accidents.

Hence, while driving during nights you must follow the following rules :

  • Do not indulge in over speeding.
  • Honour all traffic signals and signs.
  • Keep your headlights on but use dipper to see and be seen.
  • Two wheeler drivers, cyclists and pedestrians must use light coloured clothes during night to be seen clearly
  • Do not look at the headlight of an oncoming vehicle.
  • While parking your vehicle during night, make sure that parking lights are on.

Follow Them Too

Besides above conditions, there are several circumstances when a driver is required to react to the situations on the road. So follow them also.

  • Always allow fire brigade, ambulance and police vehicle to pass.
  • Never lit a cigarette while driving or going for refueling at petrol pumps.
  • Never alight from your car on the road side.
  • Allow non-motorised vehicles to pass by as they can not accelerate their speed or maneuver swiftly.
  • Always help pedestrians, handicapped and children in their movement on the road.
  • Never blow your horn unnecessarily. Use it as an emergency device.
  • Do not carry inflammable materials in your vehicles as they can cause loss of life and property in case of accidents. 

Parking Advice

Every day - more motorised vehicles get added to the city's traffic. Add to that the limited scope for expanding the road capacity, and you have the problem of shrinking parking space. Leading to congestion, chaos and parking problems.

In this situation , haphazard parking of vehicles causes unnecessary inconvenience to everyone.

Follow the simple steps stated below , to relieve the parking constraints.

  • Use designated parking lots.
  • Where such facility is not available, make sure you vehicle is not obstructing the traffic.
  • Never park in ' No Parking' zones
  • These areas are congestion prone. Your vehicle can unnecessarily obstruct many others.
  • Provide 'in-house' parking space in your residential / office locality
  • When constructing / looking for property, go for one which has built-in parking space.
  • Use public transport / car pools: By avoiding bringing your vehicle on the road as often as possible, you vehicle on the road as often as possible, you help reduce stress on public parking spaces and inconvenience to all including yourself.
  • Resist on-street parking: Where this is unavoidable, park your vehicle alongside the corner / wall.

Travelling on a Bus

Buses are definitely a boon to modern society; an inexpensive mode of mass transport that can, if used responsibly, lead to not only vital fuel savings, but also lead to a better environment and better utilization of road space. That's because the fuel consumption / emission per person is far lesser than in the case of any individual / small transport vehicle.

Given are a few handy tips which can help you use buses more intelligently and also ensure your safety.

Board / alight from the bus responsibly Don't rush to catch a bus. 
Don't enter / exit from a moving bus. 
Don't alight from bus at red lights or corners. 
Don't disturb the driver Don't talk to the driver or create any disturbance that might distract him.

Avoid overcrowded buses Overcrowded buses are unstable and prone to toppling. You are an easy target for thieves in crowded buses.

Beware of snatchers Avoid wearing expensive jewellery while traveling. Hide your money / valuables and keep an eye out for miscreants.

Bus manners Men should avoid using lady's seats, especially if there is a lady standing. Please give priority to the old / handicapped / children. Don't smoke in buses. Remember, smoking in buses is a punishable offence.
Watch out for suspicious objects In case you see a suspicious object, please inform the conductor / driver immediately. Bombs can be disguised as Tiffin boxes, transistors, toys anything. Be extra watchful. 
Don't stand on entrance / exit Sudden braking or swerving can cause you to lose balance and fall out. 
No inflammables Never carry gas, petrol, acid, crackers etc. in buses.

Documents Required While Driving

Do not Drive without these Documents

  • Valid driving licence
  • Vehicle registration certificate ( Form 23)
  • Valid vehicle's insurance certificate
  • Permit and vehicle's certificate of fitness (applicable only to transport vehicles)
  • Valid Pollution Under Control Certificate

On demand by a police officer in uniform or an officer of the Transport Department, produce these documents for inspection.

Rules of the road


KEEP LEFT on a two-way road to allow traffic from the opposite direction to pass on your right and on a one-way road to allow vehicles behind you to overtake from your right.

WHEN TURNING LEFT, keep to the left side of the road you are leaving as well as the one you are entering. When turning right, move to the centre of the road you are leaving and arrive near the left side of road you are entering.

SLOW DOWN at road junctions, intersections, pedestrian crossings and road corners and wait until you are sure of a clear passage ahead. if you are entering a main road where traffic is not being regulated, give way to vehicles passing on your right.

HAND SIGNALS are necessary at certain times. When slowing down, extend your right arm palm down and swing it up and down; when stopping, raise your forearm vertically outside the vehicle; when turning right or changing lane to the right hand side, extend your right arm straight out, palm to the front; when turning left or changing lane to the left hand side, extend your right arm and rotate it in an anti-clockwise direction.
To allow the vehicle behind you to overtake, swing your right arm backward and forward in a semi circular motion.

DIRECTION INDICATORS Better use directions indicators instead of hands singlals and both in case of any emergancy.

WEARING A HELMET FOR TWO WHEELER DRIVERS is a statutory requirement. The helmet must conform to the ISI standards and should bear the ISI mark. Helmet works as a shield for your head in case of a mishap. It is designed for your individual safety and not as a cover to avoid legal prosecution. For complete safety tie the strap properly otherwise the helmet may slip from your head in case of an accident head injury. (Turban wearing Sikhs are exempted from using a helmet).

DO NOT PARK at or near a road crossing or on top of a hill or on a footpath; too near a traffic light or pedestrian crossing; on a main road or a road with heavy traffic; in front of or opposite another parked vehicle to cause obstruction; on roads that have a white line; near a bus- stop, school or hospital entrance; right next to a traffic sign thereby blocking it for others; at the entrance of a building; near a fire hydrant thereby blocking access to it; where parking is specifically prohibited.

THE REGISTRATION MARK of the vehicle should be clear, legible and visible at all times. Do not load the motor vehicle so as to obstruct the tail lights or any other lights or marks required on the vehicle for its safety.

DO NOT DRIVE on a one way road except in the direction permitted. Reversing into a one way street in the wrong direction, is also prohibited.

DO NOT CROSS THE YELLOW LINE dividing the road even while overtaking. On roads with defined lanes use appropriate indicator signal before changing lanes.

DO NOT CROSS THE STOP LINE painted on the road when you stop at a road junction or intersection or a pedestrian crossing. In no case should your stationary vehicle project,beyond this line.

TOWING IS PERMITTED only for mechanically disabled or incompletely assembled motor vehicles, registered trailers and side cars. Vehicles other than these may be towed for delivery to the nearest garage or petrol pump in case of untimely breakdown.

USE THE HORN only when essential and do not use it in a silence zone. Do not fit loud, multi-toned or harsh and shrill sounding horns or alarms in your vehicle. Vehicles with altered silencers are also prohibited on the road.

DIRECTIONS GIVEN TO DRIVERS either through police officers regulating traffic or through road signs or traffic signals should be followed at all times. Violation of these is an offense.

MAINTAIN AN ADEQUATE DISTANCE from the vehicle ahead of you to avoid collision if that vehicle suddenly slows down or stops. A chart to guide you on minimum braking time required at different speeds is given on page 33 for your information.

DO NOT BRAKE SUDDENLY except for safety reasons.

ON MOUNTAINS AND STEEP ROADS the vehicle driving uphill must be given the right of way by vehicles coming downhill. If the road is not sufficiently wide, pull your vehicle to a stop on the side of the road and allow the driver going uphill to proceed first.

WHEN ROAD REPAIR WORK is going on, slow down and drive at a speed not exceeding twenty five kilometers per hour.

DRIVERS OF TRACTORS AND GOODS VEHICLES are prohibited from carrying passengers for hire or reward. In a tractor, the driver should not carry any other person and in a goods vehicle, he should not exceed the number of persons permitted in the driver's cabin.

DO NOT CARRY GOODS on a motor vehicle in a manner that may cause danger to any person, or load it thus that the goods extend laterally beyond the side, front or to the rear of the vehicle. Carrying of explosives, inflammable or dangerous substances by any public service vehicle is also prohibited.

CARRY ONLY ONE PILLION RIDER on your two wheeler. You must carry the rider only on the back seat. Do not allow any rider to sit or stand in front of you (not even children). It is not only illegal but often becomes dangerous because sudden braking may throw out the child or person hitting the vehicle in front. It is a violation of law to carry goods on your two wheeler as the rider may lose balance easily leading to accidents.

DO NOT DRIVE BACKWARDS longer than necessary, and do ensure that you do not cause danger or inconvenience to any other person or vehicle while doing so.

DO NOT DRIVE on the road if you are unwell or after taking medication that is likely to impair your driving abilities including tonics that may have an alcohol content in them.


Drivers often forget that roads are not just for them alone. This can make things difficult on the road for pedestrians, cyclists, scooterists and motor cyclists who do not have solid protections around them. They are entitled to your care and consideration. Always keep a close watch on other road users. Children, for example, may do unexpected things. Elderly pedestrians may move more slowly than you expect or may not see or hear you until you are too close.

ALWAYS GIVE WAY TO PEDESTRIANS if there is danger to their safety. Take extra care if they are children or elderly people. There are some obvious places and times where you should take extra care like shopping centres, busy intersections, schools, parks and residential areas where children and others have a greater need of crossing the road. Also, in wet weather, people may hurry and take risks. At night remember that pedestrians may not always be aware how hard it can be for you to see them. Be careful when approaching parked cars or buses. It is difficult to see or anticipate people crossing from behind them. Slow down at pedestrian crossings or intersections, specially if you are turning.

You must give way to pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing. This means you must approach the crossing at a speed which will let you stop in time. Not all pedestrians look before they step onto a crossing. So watch out for anyone approaching and be ready to stop.

You must stop if a pedestrian is on a school crossing. This applies even if there is no crossing supervisor present. Stop at the stop line until all pedestrians are off the crossing.

NEVER INDULGE IN ZIG-ZAG DRIVING, specially on two wheelers. It is not only dangerous for you but is a danger for others also. Motorcycles have a high accelerating power. Don't misuse it. Don't overtake when it is not necessary. Remember, at higher speed the slightest collision can prove to be fatal.

DO NOT OVERTAKE another vehicle that has stopped at a pedestrian school crossing. That driver may have stopped, or may be stopping, for a pedestrian you cannot see.

YOU MUST GIVE WAY to pedestrians when you are entering or leaving private property such as a driveway. If you cannot see whether anyone is coming, sound your horn and then drive out very slowly.


CYCLISTS AND MOTORCYCLISTS have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of larger vehicles. When overtaking cyclists, leave at least one metre clearance. Don't try to share the lane with them. Cycle riders are entitled to ride two abreast. Also, when you are about to alight from your car, check for bicycle riders or scooterists to avoid opening your door in their path. Children on cycles can also be unpredictable. Take extra care of them.

Bicycles scooters and motorcycles are smaller than cars and therefore harder to see. A common cause of accidents is the failure of a ight-turning driver to notice an oncoming motorcycle as motorcycle accelerate much faster than cars. What appears to be a safe gap in traffic may not be if there is an oncoming motorcycle or a scooter.

Bicycles can travel surprisingly fast. 30 km/h is not unusual. Drivers can easily underestimate their speed. Be careful not to cut them off when turning in front of them.

Most motorcycle crashes happen at intersections. Before turning, or entering an intersection, have one more look to make sure there's no motorcycle or bicycle there. Motorcyclists and cyclists can be hidden by trucks and buses which are overtaking them. Only move left or turn left from behind a large vehicle when you are sure the road is clear.

LOOK OUT FOR large, heavy, turning vehicles. When such a vehicle is turning, you must not pass on the left or right of the vehicle. If your vehicle comes between a large turning vehicle and the kerb, there is a likelihood of your vehicle getting crushed. Remember, long vehicles may use more than one lane when negociating turns.




WHEN OVERTAKING do so from right of the vehicles you are passing. If the driver of the vehicle in front of you indicates that he is turning right, you may pass from his left. Remember not to cut in onto heavy vehicles. They need more room to slow down and stop.

DO NOT OVERTAKE when you think it might endanger other traffic on the road; if the road ahead is not clearly visible, for example, near a bend or a hill. If you know that the vehicle behind you has begun to overtake you; if the driver ahead of you has not yet signalled his agreement that you pass him. 
If you cannot see for more than 150 metres ahead, because of a hill or curve or if the road is narrowing, avoid overtaking.
If a vehicle has stopped at a pedestrian crossing, intersection or railway crossing, do not overtake it.
In a multi-lane road, you must remember to give way to traffic already in the lane you are moving into.

WHEN BEING OVERTAKEN do not increase the speed of your own vehicle. This creates confusion for the driver trying to overtake you.


There are fewer cars on the road at night. This does not increase your safety in any manner. This is because speeds are higher, people and bicycles are difficult to see and other motorists or pedestrians may have been drinking. Drive slowly and you will be able to react better. At higher speeds, the stopping distance exceeds the seeing distance thereby causing accidents.

The driver will not see the cattle in time to stop

The high beam is useful for extra seeing distance. However, you must dip your headlights to low beam when an approaching vehicle is within 200m, or die other vehicle's headlights dip, whichever is sooner. Also dip your headlights when driving 200m or less behind another vehicle.

Dip your lights for oncoming traffic

Dip your lights when following other vehicles

Remember not to use high beam in foggy conditions as your light reflects back, reducing visibility. Also remember to use your dipper at night. 
If oncoming traffic does not dip its high beam, look to the left side of the road and drive towards the left of your lane. 
If you are dazzled, slow down or pull over until your eyes recover.


The best way to stop quickly is to drive slowly. Sometimes, unexpected things happen quickly. A driver can pull out of a side street without warning. A pedestrian can suddenly step out from behind a parked car. A truck can drop some of its load. A scooterist or motorcyclist could hit a pot-hole and fall off. If you are travelling too fast, it may be difficult to avoid an accident.

In the diagram above one of the cars is driving at a speed higher by only 10 km/h. A truck suddenly pulls up in front. If both drivers brake hard at the same time, one car will avoid a collision while the other will strike the truck at 30 km/h. (These calculations are based on ideal road conditions, good drivers and well-maintained cars. This may not be the case always.)


At some crossroads there are no traffic lights or signs. When you come to one of these intersections you must give way to vehicles travelling in the intersection on your right as marked below:

Red car has to give way to other oncoming vehicles

You must also give way to the right at intersections where the lights have failed. If yours and an oncoming vehicle are turning right at an intersection both cars should pass in front of each other.

If the other drivers do not give way to you, do not commit the same mistake they are doing.

Give way to fire engines and ambulances by driving your vehicles to the side of the road.

Give way to pedestrians at crossings that are not regulated.

Give way to traffic already in the lane you are moving into.


At T-intersections the vehicle travelling on the road that ends must give way to any vehicle travelling on the road that continues (unless otherwise sign-posted). The give way to the right rule does not apply to T-intersections.

Red Car has to give way to Blue Car


An intersection with a central traffic island is called a roundabout. Give way to vehicles already on the road. If you are turning, as you approach or exit the roundabout, you must use your indicator to show where you are going. Always slow down and prepare to give way at a roundabout. Please follow lane markings on the road leading to the roundabout.

If there are no lane demarcations, do not overtake from the left. Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic.

When turning left, stay on the left. When going straight, from whichever lane you enter, drive in the same position through the roundabout. When turning right, drive close to the centre of the roundabout. Take care while changing position on the roundabout, particularly when exiting.


Remember to give way to pedestrians when turning to the left. When turning right, make proper hand or indicator signal, move as close to the centre line as possible and Turn only when there is no oncoming vehicle.


WHEN TAKING A U-TURN signal by hand the way you would for a right turn, observing the traffic behind you in your rear view mirror at the same time. Do not take a U-turn where it is specifically prohibited.

U-turns can be dangerous. Be extra careful while taking one. Make sure it is safe and let other motorists know by signalling at least 30 metres before you turn.

Remember U-turns cannot be made at traffic lights, on high-ways or if your U-turn disrupts traffic. Also U-turns are prohibited on a road marked with any single unbroken line or double centre lines whether or not one line is broken.

Traffic Signals


Stop well before the stop line, and don't crowd the intersection. This not only obstructs a clear view of the intersection for other road users, but also make the zebra crossing unsafe for the pedestrians. You are allowed to turn left at the red signal unless there is a sign specifically forbidding you to do so. When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles from other directions.


The Amber light gives time to vehicles to clear the road when the signal is changing from green to red. If caught in the Amber signal in the middle of a large road crossing do not press your accelerator in panic but do continue with care.

GO :

If first in line, do not go tearing off at the green signal but pause to see whether vehicles from other directions have cleared the road.
Sometimes you are allowed to turn left or right too, unless separate signs exist for each direction. if turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles from other directions.


Proceed with caution in the direction indicated by the arrows. Remember that you must yield to all pedestrians and vehicles already in the intersection.


You must come to a complete stop, yield to all other traffic and to pedestrians. Proceed only when the way is clear.


You should slow down and proceed with caution.

To stop vehicles approaching from behind.
To stop vehicles approaching simultaneously from front and behind
To stop vehicles approaching from the right to allow vehicles from the left to turn right.
To stop vehicles approaching from the left and wanting to turn right.
To stop vehicles coming from front.
Beckoning vehicles approaching from left.
To allow vehicles coming from the right and turning right by stoping traffic approaching from the left.
Warning signal closing all vehicles.
Beckoning vehicles appraoching from right.
Beckoning vehicles from front.

Single Broken White

Separation of lanes on which travel is in the same direction, with crossing from one to the other permitted.

Single Solid White

Separation of lanes or of a lane and shoulder where lane changing is discouraged.

Double Solid Yellow

Separation of lanes overtaking is prohibited in both directions. Right turn monoeuvres across this marking are not permitted.

Single Broken Yellow

Separation of lanes on which travel is in the opposite direction, and where overtaking with care is permitted.

Single Solid Yellow

This line is found on busy main roads and traffic intersection. Here crossing this line and overtaking is prohibited.

Double Plus Broken Yellow

Separation of lanes where overtaing is permitted with care for traffic adjacent to the broken line, but prohibited for traffic adjacent to solid line.