Important Traffic Signs You Need To Know in India

India is a country with one of the highest mortality rates from road traffic accidents. According to reports, Indian roads witness approximately 400 accidents every day that cost 3 per cent of the country’s total annual GDP and more importantly hundreds of lives. It is practically impossible to man the roads in a country with a population like ours. Hence it falls on our shoulders to navigate these roads with our and others’ safety in mind. Following the traffic rules properly is one good way to do that. To do that, we should first be aware of the rules and the signs on the roads that are placed for our awareness and safety.

What are traffic signs?

Road traffic signs are placed at strategic points on the roads to communicate basic rules and regulations that ought to be followed at that particular place. They are designed as simple graphic forms of instructions to make everyone easily comprehend them. When you get a driver’s license in India for any vehicle, you are tested on your knowledge of all the traffic signs in a written test to ensure you will be able to drive and follow the essential rules of the road.

The traffic signs in India are usually categorised into 3 groups – the mandatory signs, the cautionary signs and the informative signs. All 3 categories are significant and we should be aware of them whether we drive a vehicle or not.

In this article, we have made you a list of all the traffic signs you will find on the roads of India for you to understand them easily.

  1. Mandatory Traffic Signs

These are named so because they are not only important to be followed but they are also not to be absolutely neglected. The mandatory signs are those that have to be kept in mind to be noticed and abided by immediately. Failure to adhere to road traffic signs may get you into trouble with the Roadways and Traffic Department of India, and require you to pay the traffic penalty based on your transgression. The mandatory traffic signs are to make sure the traffic does not gets hindered and the pedestrians are safe with the knowledge of the speed limit on that road, which movement of the vehicles allowed and not allowed, etc.

Here are the mandatory signs of traffic in India:

Stop No Entry Give Way
All Motor Vehicles Prohibited No Motorcycles No Bicycles
No Bullock Carts No Heavy Vehicles One-Way Traffic
No Straight Ahead No Vehicles in Both Directions No Left Turn
No Right Turn No Overtaking No U-Turn
Height Limit Speed Limit Weight Limit
Length Limit No Parking Horn Prohibited
No Pedestrians Left Curve Right Curve
Traffic Signals Ahead Level Crossing with Barrier Ahead Uneven Road
Level Crossing Without Barrier Ahead Narrow Bridge Roundabout Ahead

2. Cautionary Traffic Signs

Cautionary traffic signs are those that warn the drivers about hazards or factors that may threaten your safety. These are to ensure that you slow down as you approach the said potential hazard. All of these signs are pretty much self-explanatory so anyone can pay heed to them and keep themselves safe.

The 20 different cautionary signs you may find on the road are listed out below in the table.

Left Reverse Bend Steep Ascent Steep Descent Narrow Road
Narrow Bridge Slippery Road Loose Gravel Cycle Crossing
School Zone Ahead Men at Work Cattle Falling Rocks
Cross Road Gap in Median Side Road Right Side Road Left
Road Wideness Pedestrian Crossing Ferry
  • T-Intersection
  • Y-Intersection
  • Staggered Intersection

3. Informative Traffic Signs

Now, these are signs that are placed on the sides of the roads for the sake of providing the drivers with information about where they can park their vehicles, where they can find fuel, food or hospitals, etc. We know no one is without their own Google Maps these days. But as we all know, we can end up stranded at any time with or without the help of our smartphones. So these informative traffic signs come in handy when you want to know exactly what and where you can find close by.

We have 18 important informative Traffic Signs listed in the table here for you.

Parking Hospital Petrol/ Gasoline Pump
Telephone No Parking – Bus Stop Restaurant
Pedestrian Crossing Medical Railway Station
Airport Bus Stand Marina
Rest Area Cycle Lane One Way
Area Closed Park & Ride Police

Significance of Traffic Signs

  • Helps control the flow of traffic
  • Prevents accidents and saves lives
  • Gives you a warning about upcoming hazards on the road and time to control your vehicle
  • Saves you from breaking rules that you are not aware of and paying penalties for them
  • Easy navigation
  • Helps new drivers find their way easily and people new to the area navigate without having to stop frequently

Apart from all these, traffic signs serve one very important duty – keeping everyone on the road safe – that is if they are followed properly. The New Motor Vehicle Act of 2019 has invoked stricter rules for breaking the traffic rules with high monetary penalties which is a pretty good incentive to follow them if you ask me.

Also Read:

New Traffic Rules and Penalties in India: Here’s What You Need to Know

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