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Traffic Signs in India – Road Safety Signs

By Juhi Walia
12 October 2022, 10:40 AM

Road safety is a serious issue in India and most of the world. Road users generally see it as less serious, but it is a law that every driver must obey, regardless of whether they are on the road or not.

To make things more interesting, the police personnel have decided to take this law and add a twist by introducing the country roads to colourful car barriers. The bright barriers make it impossible for drivers to ignore them while driving on the road.

Apart from the fancy design, these barriers also serve other purposes, such as:

  • Making people stay back at traffic junctions
  • Warning about upcoming turns

People with a car insurance policy have been lucky to escape unprecedented situations like accidents due to the above safety measures.

Now, the safety signs in India are not just for decoration as they provide essential information regarding speed limits and distance from any particular point on the road where accidents can happen. 

Types of Traffic Road Signs

1. Mandatory Signs

Red characters denote these signs. They are to be obeyed by all drivers in India, and if you get caught not following any of these signs, you could be fined or even sent to jail.

The mandatory signs include:

  • No parking
  • Stopping
  • Entry
  • No overtaking

Mandatory signs are usually painted on the ground near the actual sign they refer to.

Two of India's most common mandatory signs include:

  • Speed limit sign
  • Road divider sign

Other essential traffic signs in India include:

  • No passing
  • Night-time restriction signs

2. Traffic Speed Limit Sign

As mentioned in the name, this sign informs you about the actual speed limit on that particular road. The speed limit sign lets you know exactly how fast you can go in that area, and the road divider sign tells you to stay on your side of the road.

3. Road Blocks

These signs are denoted by blue characters and tell you about upcoming traffic blocks. These include things like:

  • Toll booths
  • Service areas
  • Intersections

Now, you might be allowed to pass through roadblocks freely if you have a pass or if they mention that they are free, but it is always wise to check before entering a roadblock in India.

Some critical roads in India are free passes, where you can always automatically enter the road without paying.

4. Road Divider Sign

This sign is placed in the middle of the road to let you know that you are before an upcoming turn and let you choose whether you want to turn right or left. The division bus lane sign is widespread, letting you know that the area in front of you is reserved for buses only.

5. Dangerous Areas

These signs are denoted by red and yellow characters and tell you about areas that have previously seen accidents or might be prone to them.

They include things like:

  • Speed traps
  • School zones

The most common one in India is the dangerous curve sign.

6. Cautionary Signs

These road signs are denoted by yellow characters and give you essential information regarding the road you are currently on. Some signs include warnings about upcoming curves and what to do when you see a break in the road.

The speed limit sign is a prevalent one that lets you know exactly how fast you can go in that area, and the road divider sign tells you to stay on your side of the road. This is crucial in preventing your car insurance policy from being deployed earlier than usual.

The no-parking sign is another common one that lets people know that they cannot stop for any reason in front of it.

One of the most common ones is the no-overtaking sign. This sign indicates that people are not allowed to overtake this side.

7. Descriptive Signs

These signs are denoted by blue characters and tell you about the general location of things such as hotels, hospitals and other places of interest. Descriptive signs are usually minimal in size.

Other things described with descriptive signs include businesses such as:

  • Banks
  • Markets
  • Restaurants

They also tell you what to do if anything happens in that area, such as if a bridge is closed or a road is blocked off due to construction work.

8. Informative Signs

These signs are denoted by azure blue characters and inform you about different things, including hotels, hospitals and places of interest. They are usually more prominent compared to descriptive ones. These signs also notify you about things like banks and nearby markets. 

9. No Smoking Sign

The no smoking sign is an important one in India that lets everyone know that smoking is not allowed on the premises of a place or any other place for that matter. This can be a vital sign for anyone who does smoke, as it lets them know that the action is not permissible in the area.

10. No Trespassing Sign

The no trespassing sign is another commonly used one that lets everyone know that they cannot enter a specific area and that it is posted as a no trespassing area. This can be very important to anyone visiting new places.

These signs are denoted by green characters and let you know about the:

  • Places to eat
  • Parking lots
  • Where toilets are located

These signs are usually huge and are typically written over with the names of different places or things.

Downsides to Ignoring Road Safety Signs

1. Accidents

Accidents on roads can be hazardous and sometimes fatal. Some accidents are caused by carelessness or drunk driving, but most are due to driver error. Almost all traffic accidents on Indian roads can be avoided by following the signs and obeying traffic rules.

Ignoring these signs could lead you to a severe accident that may not be your fault. It is also imperative to note the relevance of having car insurance in the case of an accident.

2. Death

Some signs like the no passing sign or no overtaking signs can be instrumental in preventing you from ending up in a severe accident. Ignoring these signs can result in the death of yourself or another person.

3. Toll Fees

If you pass over a toll plaza without paying, you could have to pay some hefty fines, which will cost you more than if you had just paid the toll. If you have a driving licence, it might get revoked because of not paying those fees.

4. Loss of Properties

If someone damages your property because you have ignored a no parking sign, you could lose a lot of money. This is especially true in the more expensive areas of India where having a nice car is essential. These are some reasons why you should always ignore unsafe behaviour on Indian roads. But like we said before, most accidents can be avoided by following the rules and signs.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, road safety signs are vital in India and should never be ignored. Following the rules and laws of the road can save you from a lot of trouble. It will also make your journey much safer and enjoyable. We hope you found this article helpful in learning about some Indian road signs. 

Read more -


1. Which is the most critical traffic rule to follow?

The most important traffic rule to follow is always to obey all the traffic rules because all of them are important.

2. What part does car insurance play in traffic accidents?

Car insurance doesn't have any role in a traffic accident. These days, more people like to buy cheap insurance even if it comes with much lower coverage. It's always recommended that you buy car insurance with maximum coverage to feel assured.

3. What is the difference between signboard and road marking?

There is no difference between the two because they help you stay alert on Indian roads.

Sign boards tell you about different things such as:

  • Road directions
  • Speed limits
  • Places to go or avoid going to

The signs also inform you about:

  • Tolls
  • Water sources
  • Other places of interest

4. What are the cons of ignoring road safety rules?

Ignoring road safety rules can have many cons and no pros, but people still ignore them regularly, which is why they cause many different types of accidents. These include more than just car accidents. Yes, motorcycle and bicycle accidents. Ignoring the signs can cause you to end up in a traffic accident with no insurance, in a severe accident or even death.

5. Are road safety signs vital to follow?

Yes, they are critical to follow to ensure your safety when using the road.

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