Team Ackodrive6, Jun, 2022
As per SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), over 2.7 million cars were sold in India in the FY 2020-21. The boom in car sales has increased the number of vehicles on the road, and the traffic police face an uphill task of maintaining law and order. Many novice drivers may be unaware of some of the traffic rules, while others tend to violate the rules and thereby risk the safety of other road users. Read on to know about some of the most common traffic violations, and also, let’s throw light on how to avoid them.
Indian roads are always bustling with traffic, and violation of traffic rules is a common sight. It has left the traffic authorities with the daunting task of keeping a vigil on such offenders and penalising them. If you drive a car in India, you should be aware of these most common traffic violations for your and others' safety. Also, by avoiding these violations, you can save yourself from getting penalised by the traffic police.
Here are some tips to avoid common traffic violations in India.
It is one of the most common traffic offences in India. Ignoring the traffic signals may seem like a petty offence, but the consequences can be severe. Jumping a red light can lead to severe accidents. Even if you are in a hurry, do follow traffic signals. Red light jumping will also attract penalties up to Rs. 5,000 depending on the severity of the offence.
Pay attention to the traffic lights when you are driving.
If there is a yellow signal, slow down your car and be prepared to stop.
When the signal is red, stop well before the stop line.
Do not stop the vehicle on the ‘Zebra Crossing’ as it may obstruct pedestrians.
Overspeeding is something we often see on Indian roads, especially on highways. Crossing the speed limit can be fatal as it may result in a severe accident. Overspeeding not only puts your life in danger but also poses a threat to other road users. Overspeeding will attract a penalty of up to Rs. 2,000. Repeat offenders may face even harsher penalties.
Pay attention to the speed limit signboards when you are driving, especially on highways.
High-speed driving may be thrilling but do remember that it can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. It puts your life as well as others' lives at risk.
Switch on the high-speed warning system in your car (if available) to warn you if you drive over the speed limit.
It is one of the most serious traffic offences. Driving in an inebriated state can cause accidents leading to severe consequences. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol/intoxicating substances, the traffic police may issue a challan of up to Rs. 10,000 or even arrest you.
As per law, the acceptable blood alcohol level is up to 0.03 percent, equal to 30mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Anything above the permissible level is considered an offence.
Never get behind the wheel if you are in an inebriated state. Instead, look for alternative transport options such as cabs, etc.
If you drive out alone, avoid drinking alcohol.
Ensure that a non-drinking driver accompanies you if you plan to drink alcohol when you go out.
With the advent of smartphones and tablets, we are glued to the screen all the time, even when driving. Driving and talking/texting on the phone is a bad combination. It can distract you while driving. As per the latest amendment to The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, drivers can use the phone only as a navigation device.
If you are caught driving while talking/texting on the phone, be ready to shell out a penalty of up to Rs. 5,000. Worst case scenario, you may also face imprisonment depending on the consequences of the violation.
It’s better to put the phone in ‘Silent’ mode when you're driving.
If you have to make an important call or need to respond to a text, park the car on the side of the road and then proceed.
Do not watch visual content on your phone while driving.
If you are a beginner driver, you may tend to forget to buckle your seatbelt while driving the car. Driving without wearing a seatbelt is an offence. Moreover, a seatbelt is designed for your safety. If you wear it correctly, it can protect you from severe injuries in case of an accident. If caught driving without wearing a seatbelt, the traffic police can issue a challan of Rs. 1,000.
As soon as you get into your car, make a habit of buckling up the seatbelt even before you start the engine.
Wear the seatbelt properly around your waist and chest.
Ask the passengers to fasten the seatbelts as soon as they get in the car.
Car insurance is mandatory in India. According to The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, all motor vehicles need to have a Third-party Motor Insurance Cover. Driving your car without motor insurance or with a lapsed insurance policy is an offence.
If caught driving without valid car insurance, you may receive a traffic challan of Rs. 2,000. For repeat offences, the penalty goes up to Rs. 4,000.
Purchase at least a Third-party Car Insurance policy when you buy a new car. However, a Comprehensive policy is recommended for broad coverage.
Buy a multi-year car insurance plan to avoid the hassle of yearly renewals.
Do remember the due date of the policy and renew the car insurance plan before it lapses.
Buy/renew car insurance online to instantly insure the car. You can opt for digital-first insurer’s such as ACKO to buy/renew insurance immediately.
Not carrying valid documents while driving your car can attract penalties. Driving without a valid Driving Licence (DL) will cost you a challan of Rs. 5,000. Similarly, failing to produce the Registration Certificate (RC) when the authorities demand results in a challan of Rs. 2,000. If your car does not have a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate, you may have to pay a challan of Rs. 500.
Always keep a copy of all the essential documents in your car.
Upload the soft copies of the documents to your smartphone or apps like DigiLocker.
Renew the documents (DL, RC, etc.) on time before they expire.
As a driver, you should be well-aware of the traffic rules and regulations and also know how to avoid such violations. Even before learning to drive a car, one should educate themself about the traffic rules. It enables you to be responsible on the road when driving a vehicle. Adhering to the traffic rules not only ensures your safety but also saves you from hefty traffic fines. So, whenever you are on the road, respect the laws and abide by the rules for your and other road users safety.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to how to avoid traffic violations in India.
Are the soft copies of the vehicle/driver-related documents valid?
Yes, as per The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, soft copies of the vehicle/driver-related documents are valid if presented through the mParivahan platform or DigiLocker app.
Can I use my phone for navigation while driving my car?
Yes, you can use your smartphone for navigation while driving. However, if you are found guilty of talking/texting while driving, you may be penalised.
Do passengers also need to wear seatbelts while travelling in a car?
Yes, the car driver and passengers need to fasten their seatbelts while travelling in a car. Wearing a seatbelt not only saves you from a traffic challan but also severe injuries in case of an accident.
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