Traffic Rules and Regulations in India

Traffic rules and regulations are important to ensure the safety and smooth functioning of the roads in India. With its huge population and increasing number of vehicles, India faces several…

Traffic rules and regulations are important to ensure the safety and smooth functioning of the roads in India. With its huge population and increasing number of vehicles, India faces several challenges in maintaining road safety. Traffic rules and regulations are important in ensuring order, reducing accidents and saving lives on Indian roads. In this article, we will delve into the various traffic rules and regulations in India, their significance, their penalties, their importance, and their impact on road safety non-compliance.

Current Traffic Rules in India

Here are some of the current traffic rules and regulations in India. However, please note that traffic rules may change over time, and it is always advisable to refer to the latest information from official sources or consult local authorities for the most up-to-date regulations.

  1. Traffic Signals and Signs
    • Obey traffic signals: Red means stop, yellow means prepare to stop, and green means go.
    • Follow road signs: Adhere to speed limit signs, no-entry signs, one-way signs, pedestrian crossing signs, etc.
  2. Speed Limits
    • Speed limits are specified for different types of roads, such as highways, urban areas, and residential zones. It is important to follow the specified speed limits.
    • Speeding can result in fines, license suspension, or imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence.
  3. Lane Discipline
    • Keep to the left side of the road while driving.
    • Overtake from the right side and only when it is safe to do so.
    • Maintain proper lane discipline to avoid unnecessary traffic congestion and accidents.
  4. Drunk Driving
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
    • The permissible blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.03% (30 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood).
    • Offenders can face penalties, such as fines, license suspension, and imprisonment.
  5. Seat Belt and Helmet Usage
    • Wearing seat belts is mandatory for drivers and passengers in motor vehicles.
    • Two-wheeler riders must wear helmets conforming to prescribed standards.
  6. Mobile Phone Usage
    • Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited unless using hands-free devices.
    • Distracted driving due to mobile phone usage can result in penalties and fines.
  7. Parking Regulations
    • Park vehicles only in designated areas and follow parking regulations.
    • Unauthorized parking can lead to fines, towing of the vehicle, or other penalties.
  8. School Bus Safety
    • School buses have specific rules and regulations to ensure the safety of children, such as speed limits, proper signage, and responsible driving practices.
  9. Vehicle Registration and Insurance
    • All vehicles must be registered with the appropriate regional transport office (RTO).
    • Motor insurance, including third-party liability coverage, is mandatory for all vehicles.
  10. Penalties for Traffic Violations
    • Traffic violations can result in penalties, fines, license suspension, or imprisonment, depending on the offence.
    • The penalties vary based on the severity of the violation and may differ from state to state.
  11. Rules for pedestrians
    • Follow the traffic signal rules
    • Avoid using a cell phone on the road
    • Watch while crossing the road
    • Always use Zebra crossing
  12. Unknown rules which can lead to a penalty
    • You can’t block the way while parking your vehicle
    • You can be penalised for not keeping the First-aid kit (in Chennai and Kolkata)
    • Smoking in a car is illegal
    • Installing a TV near the front seats is illegal (in Mumbai)
    • Providing lifts to unknown people
    • A fine of INR 10,000 can be imposed for not having a pollution control certificate
    • A fine of INR 500-1500 can be imposed for driving a vehicle without a silencer

Myths about Traffic rules in India

The following are some myths regarding Indian traffic laws. If you want to drive safely, don't believe these urban legends!

  • You don’t need to follow traffic lights after 10 PM.
  • It s not an offence if you take a reverse turn on a one-way road.
  • You can only overtake from the right side.
  • It is ok to drink and drive if you’ve consumed food.
  • Using cell phones while driving is fine as per the traffic law

What is Challan?

A challan is an official document issued to motor vehicle drivers who violate traffic laws. The issuance of a traffic challan signifies that, as per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, the driver is liable to pay the fine related to the offence committed. Any driver who violates traffic laws during his journey can be issued a challan by the traffic police department.

The concept of an electronic challan system has been introduced to streamline the process and embrace electronic means. Under this system, all traffic violators in India receive a vehicle e-challan, which is a computer-generated challan utilized by the Traffic Police. This shift to electronic issuance of challans enables efficient record-keeping and simplifies the overall process.

Comparison of Fines Before and After 2019

Let us compare the fines both before and after the 2019 amendment.


Old Penalty

New Penalty

Infringing Road Rules


INR 500 - INR 1K

Disobeying the authorities

INR 500


Driving without license

INR 500



INR 400

Up to INR 4K

Rash Driving


6 months to 1 year of imprisonment with a fine up to INR 5K

Drinking and driving


Up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine of up to INR 15K

Helmet rule violation

INR 100

INR 1K along with the suspension of license for 3 months

Offences by children


INR 25K along with the imprisonment of 3 years of the guardian

Driving without insurance

INR 1K or imprisonment up to 3 months

INR 2K - INR 4K or imprisonment up to 3 months

Offenses Related to Documents




Vehicle without RC

S. 39 r/w S. 192


Permitting the vehicle to a person who does not possess a valid license

S. 5 r/w S. 180

INR 1K (or imprisonment of 3 months)

Not carrying proper Documents.

S. 130(3) r/w S. 177

INR 100

Driving without a valid permit

S. 130 r/w S. 177

Up to INR 5K

Driving without Valid fitness

S. 130 r/w S. 177

Up to INR 5K


Traffic rules and regulations in India are important to maintain road safety and reduce accidents. Adherence to these rules requires a collective effort by the government, law enforcement agencies and citizens. Education and awareness campaigns play an important role in promoting responsible road behaviour. In addition, strict implementation of traffic laws, regular monitoring and stringent penalties for violations are necessary to ensure compliance. By prioritizing road safety, following traffic rules and inculcating a culture of responsible driving, we can create safer roads for all in India. Let us all strive towards a future where accidents are minimal, life is safe, and travel is safe and enjoyable.


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