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Shaji Joseph (Lawyer)     09 July 2009

Road Regulations in India

Road Regulations in India

The Rules Of The Road Regulations was brought into effect from July 1, 1989. It serves as a basic guide for the Indian driver, showcasing the rules which he has to follow, while on the roads. It deals with basic facts such as overtaking, traffic signals, towing, speed limits, the necessary documents to be carried while driving and other such neglected, but imperative points nonetheless.




These regulations may be called the Rules Of The Roads Regulations, 1989. They shall come into force from July 1, 1989.


  • Keep Left

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall drive the vehicle as close to the left side of the road as may be expedient and shall allow all traffic which is proceeding in the opposite direction to pass on his left hand side.
  • Turning to Left And Right

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall:

1.       When turning to the left, drive as close as maybe to the left hand side of the road from which he is making the turn and of the road which he is entering.

2.       When turning to the right draw as near as near as may be to the centre of the road which the driver is entering.

  • Passing To The Right

    Except as provided in regulation 5, the driver of a motor vehicle shall pass to the right of all traffic proceeding in the same direction as himself.
  • Passing To The Left

    The driver of a motor vehicle may pass to the left of a vehicle, the driver of which having indicated an intention to turn to the right has drawn to the centre of the road and may pass on either side, a tram car or other vehicle running on fixed rails whether travelling in the same direction as himself or otherwise provided that in no case shall he pass a tram car at a time or in a manner likely to cause danger or inconvenience to other users of the road including persons leaving or about to enter tram cars.
  • Overtaking Prohibited In Certain Cases

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall not pass a vehicle travelling in the same direction as himself:

1.       If his passing is likely to pass inconvenience or danger to other traffic proceding in any direction

2.       If he is near a point, a bend or corner or a hill or other obstructionof any kind that renders the road ahead not clearly visible

3.       If he knows that the driver who is following him has not signalled that he may be overtaken.

  • Overtaking Not To Be Obstructed

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall not, when being overtaken or being passed by another vehicle, increase speed or do anything in any way to prevent the other vehicle from passing him.
  • Caution At Road Junction

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall slow down when approaching a road intersection, a road junction, pedestrian crossing or a road corner, and shall not enter any such intersection, junction or crossing until he has become aware that he may do so without endangering the safety of persons thereon.
  • Giving Way To Traffic At Road Junction

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall, on entering a road interjection at which traffic is not being regulated, if the road entered is a main road designated as such, give way to the vehicles proceeding along the road, and in any other case give way to all traffic approaching to the intersection on his right hand.
  • Fire Service Vehicles And Ambulances To Be Given Free Passage

    Each driver shall on the approach of a fire service vehicle or an ambulance allow it free passage by drawing it to the side of the road.
  • Right Of Way

    Pedestrians have the right of way at uncontrolled pedestrian crossings. When any road is provided with a footpath or cycle track especially for other traffic, except with permission of a police officer in uniform, a driver shall not drive on such footpath or track.
  • Taking 'U' Turn

    No driver shall take a 'U' turn where 'U' turn is especially prohibited and on a busy traffic road. If a 'U' turn is allowed the driver shall slow signal by hand as for a right turn, watch in the rear view mirror and turn when safe to do so.


  • Signals To Be Given By Drivers

    The following signals shall be used by drivers of all motor vehicles namely :

1.       When about to slow down, a driver shall extend his right arm with the palm downward and to the right of the vehicle and shall move the arm so extended up and down several times in such a manner that the signal can be seen by the driver of any vehiclewhich maybe behind him.

2.       When about to stop, the driver shall raise his right forearm vertically outside of and to the right of the vehicle, palm to the right.

3.       When about to turn to the right or to drive to the right hand sideof the road in order to pass another vehicle or for any other purpose, a driver shall extend his right hand in a horizontal position outside of and to the right of his vehicle with the palm of the hand turned to the front.

4.       When about to turn to the left or to drive to the left to the left hand side of the road a driver shall extend his right arm and rotate it in an anticlockwise direction.

5.       When a driver wishes to indicate to a driver of a vehicle behind him that he desires to overtake him he shall extend his right hand and arm horizontally outside of and to the right of the vehicle and shall bring the arm backward and forward in a semi- circular motion.

For More...Please Visit... Hand Signals by Drivers

  • Direction Indicator

    The signals referred to in regulation (Taking "U" Turn), may be simplified also by mechanical or electrical devices.
  • Parking Of The Vehicle 

1.       Every driver of a motor vehicle parking on any road shall park in such a way that it does not causeor is not likely to cause danger, obstruction or undue in convenience to other roadusers and if the manner of parking is indicated by any sign board or markings on the road side, he shall park the vehicle in such a manner.

2.       A driver of a motor vehicle shall not park his vehicle

§         At or near a road crossing, a bend, top of a hill or a humpbacked bridge

§         On a footpath

§         Near a traffic light or pedestrian crossing

§         In a main road or one carrying fast vehicle

§         Opposite another parked vehicle or as obstruction to other vehicle

§         Alongside another parked vehicle

§         On roads or at places where there is a continuous white line with or without a broken line

§         Near a bus stop, school or hospital entrance or blocking a traffic sign or entrance to a premises or a fire hydrant

§         On the wrong side of the road

§         Where parking is prohibited

§         Away from the edge of the footpath 

  • Visibility Of Lamps And Registration Marks

1.       No load or other goods shall be placed on any motor vehicle so as to mark or otherwise interrupt vision of any lamp, registeration mark or any other mark required to be carried by or exhibited on any motor vehicle by or under the Act, unless a duplicate of the lamp so marked or otherwise obscured is exhibited in the manner required by or under the Act for the exhibition of the marked or obscured lamp or mark.

2.       All registration and other marks required to be exhibited on a motor vehicle by or under the Act shall at all times be maintained in a clear and legible condition. 

  • One Way Traffic

    A driver shall not

1.       drive a motor vehicle on road declared 'One-Way' except in the direction specified by sign boards.

2.       drive a vehicle in a reverse direction into a road designated 'One Way'. 

  • Driving On Channelised Roads ( Lane Traffic)

1.       Where any road is marked by lanes for movement of traffic, the driver of a motor vehicle shall drive within the lane and change the lane only after giving proper signal.

2.       Where any road is marked by a yellow line dividing road, vehicles proceeding in the same direction trying to ovrtake each other shall not cross the yellow line. 

  • Stop Sign On Road Surface

1.       When any line is painted on or inlaid into the surface of any road at the approach to the road junction or to a pedestrian crossing or otherwise, no driver shall drive a motor vehicle shall any part thereof projects beyond that line at any time when a signal to stop is being given by thr Police Officer or by means of traffic control light or by display of any traffic sign.

2.       A line for the purpose of this regulation shall not be less than 50 millimetres in width at any part and may be either in white, black or yellow.

  • Towing

1.       No vehicle other than a mechanically disabled motor vehicle or incompletely assembled motor vehicle, a registered trailer or a side car, shall be drawn or towed by any motor vehicle, except for purposes of delivery and to the nearest filling station or garage.

2.       No motor vehicle shall be drawn or towed by any other motor vehicle unless there is in the driver's seat of the motor vehicle being drawn or towed a person holding a licence authorising him to drive the vehicle or unless the steering wheels of the motor vehicle being towed, are firmly and securely supported clear of the road surface by some crane or other device on the vehicle which is drawin or towing it.

3.       When a motor vehicle is being towed by another motor vehicle the clear distance between the rear of the front vehicle and the front of the rear vehicle shall at no time exceed five metres. The tow ropes, or chains shall be of a type-easily distinuishable by other road users and there shall be clearly displayed on the rear of the vehicle being towed in black letters not less than seventy - five mllimetres high and on a white background the words 'ON TOW'.

4.       No motor vehicle when towing another vehicle other than a trailer or a sidecar shall be driven at a speed exceeding twenty- four kilometres per hour.

  • Use Of Horns And Silence Zones

    A driver of a vehicle shall not :

1.       Sound the horn needlessly or continuously or more than necessary to to ensure safety.

2.       Sound the hirn in silence zones.

3.       Make-use of a cut-out by which gases are released other than through the silencer.

4.       Fit or use any multitoned horn giving a harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noise.

5.       Drive a vehicle creating undue noise when in motion.

6.       Drive a vehicle with a muffler causing alarming sound. 

  • Traffic Signs And Traffic Police

    A driver of a motor vehicle and every other person using the road shall obey :

1.       Every direction given, whether by signal or otherwise, by a police officer or any authorised person for the time being incharge of the regulations of traffic.

2.       Any direction applicable to him and indicated on or by notice, traffic sign or signal fixed or operated by an authority, competent to do so.

3.       Any direction indicated by automatic signalling devices fixed at road intersections.

  • Distance From Vehicles In Front

    The driver of a motor vehicle moving behind another vehicle shall keep at a sufficient distance from that other vehicle to avoid collision if the vehicle in front should suddenly slow down or stop.
  • Abrupt Brake

    No driver of a vehicle shall apply brake abruptly unless it is necessary to do so for safety reasons.
  • Vehicles Going Uphill To Be Given Precedence

    On mountain roads and steep roads, the driver of a motor vehicle travelling down the hill shall give precedence to a vehicle going uphill wherever the road is not sufficiently wide to allow the vehicles to pass each other freely without danger, and stop the stop the vehicle to the side of the road in order to allow any vehicle proceeding uphill to pass.
  • Obstruction Of Driver

    A driver of a motor vehicle shall not allow any person to stand or sit or anything to be placed in such a manner or position as to hamper his control of the vehicle.
  • Speed TO Be Restricted

    The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when passing a meeting or procession or a body of troops or police on the march or when passing workmen engaged on road repair, drive at a speed not exceeding 25 kilometres an hour.
  • Driving Of Tractors And Goods Vehicles

    A driver when driving a tractor shall not carry or allow any personto be carried on the tractor. A driver of a goods carriage shall not carry in the the driver's cabin more numbers of persons than that mentioned in the registeration certificate and shall not carry passengers for hire or reward.
  • Projection Of Loads

    No person shall drive in any public place any motor vehicle which is loaded in a manner likely to cause danger to any person in such a manner that the load or any part thereof or anything extends literally beyond the side of the body or to the front or to rear or in height beyond the permissible limit.
  • Restriction To Carriage

    Except for the fuel and the lubricants necessary for the use of the vehicle, no explosive. highly flammable or otherwise dangerous substance shall be otherwise carried on any public service vehicle.
  • Restrictions ON Driving Backwards

    No driver of a motor vehicle shall cause the vehicle to be driven backwards without first satisfying himself that he will not thereby cause danger or undue inconvenience to any other person or in any circumstances, for any greater distance or period of time than maybe reasonably necessary in order to turn the vehicle round.
  • Production Of Document

    A person driving a vehicle:

1.       Shall always carry with him his driving licence; certificate of registeration; certificate of taxation and certificate of insurance of the vehicle and in case of transport vehicle the permit and witness certificate also

2.       Shall on demand by ppolice officer in uniform or an officer of the Motor Vehicle Department in uniform or any other officer authorised by the Government, produce the documents for inspection.

  • Every driver must

    be conversant with the provisions of Sections 112, 113, 121, 122, 125, 132, 134, 185, 186, 194, 207 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.



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