The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is an organization of the Central Government of India that administers the laws, rules, and regulations regarding road transport and road research. They aim at increasing the mobility and efficiency of the road transport system in the country. As citizens, we must be aware of the roads we travel on. In this article, we will be explaining the road and lane systems of India in detail.
Road Wing of MoRTH
Road Wing deals with the development and maintenance of National Highways. They are divided into several project zones and the organization plans, monitors, conducts research, and administers everything relating to the roads of the country. The road wing is also responsible for handling matters relating to road safety, building and developing roads in the country
Lane Systems in India
There are various types of lanes and roads in India. Each lane and type of marking is present for a purpose. Unfortunately, most people do not follow rules and regulations. Ignoring these basic and important points has led to an increased number of road accidents over the years. For us to travel safely and avoid accidents, it is important to know about the types of lanes, road markings, and what they allow us to do.
Broken White Line – Most roads in India have broken while lines painted on them. This indicates that one can change from one lane to another, overtake other vehicles and take U-turns if the road is clear and is safe to do so.
Solid Continuous White Line – These roads are usually narrower and are seen mostly in hilly regions which are accident-prone zones. While driving on a lane with a continuous line, one cannot overtake other vehicles or take U-turns. One is allowed to travel straight and if one must cross the line, it should be only under the circumstances of avoiding an accident.
Solid Continuous Yellow Line – While traveling on a road with a continuous yellow line, one is allowed to overtake other vehicles within that lane, and crossing the yellow line is prohibited for both lanes. The yellow line is used in areas with low visibility and is also to denote that one must stay on their side of the road.
Double Solid Continuous Yellow Line – This is a stricter version of the previous type of lane. This is usually used for highly accident-prone roads. While driving on double continuous yellow line roads, one must be doubly careful. Overtaking, changing lanes, crossing the lines and taking U-turns are strictly prohibited. Drivers on either side of the lane must stick to their lanes.
Broken Yellow Line – This is quite a contrast to the previous type of lane since it is the most lenient. One can take U-turns and overtake while crossing the broken yellow lines provided, it is safe to do so.
Solid Yellow Line with Broken Yellow Line – Those on the side of the solid yellow line are not allowed to overtake whereas those on the side of the broken yellow line are allowed to overtake. It is a mix of both lane types.
Stop Line – This is a single line painted horizontally before the road junction or intersection. This is also right before the pedestrian crossing. This is to allow pedestrians to safely cross the road and for the passengers in vehicles to travel safely. Vehicles are required to be stopped before the stop line at a traffic light or when directed by a traffic officer.
Border Edge Lines – These are solid lines painted on the sides of the road to denote the safest point until where the vehicle can be driven
Yellow Box Junctions – These were first invented in the UK to reduce traffic jams. While passing such junctions it is important not to stop and cross only if the road ahead is clear.
Driving in Cities
In India, people have to drive on the left side of the road and there are mostly only two-lane roads. It is a general rule that those farthest on the left side of the road can drive slowly and is also for slow-moving traffic. Those on the right side of the lane can move fast within the recommended speed limit. While overtaking another vehicle, one must ensure that the right side of the lane is free and then slowly and carefully overtake the vehicle. Those who want to overtake must turn on their right indicator to alert the vehicle behind them. If one finds themselves on the wrong side of the lane they can indicate other vehicles and change lanes slowly since sudden changes in direction can lead to accidents.
Driving in Highways
Highways are the most accident-prone areas. In our country there are 4 lane – 6 lane highways and there are no signals which make driving monotonous. Many times drivers feel drowsy and this has led to accidents. Just like driving in cities, those on the right side of the lane should move fast and those on the left should go slow. On three-lane highways, the middle lane is for vehicles that go at medium speed. While changing from the leftmost to the rightmost side of the lane one must slow down and not do so suddenly. On highways, it might be difficult to hear other drivers honking, thus, one can flash their beams to catch the attention of other drivers.
Following the lane systems and having theoretical knowledge is not enough. One must remember to keep these important points and follow what each road marking permits one to do. One can do their fair bit in avoiding accidents by just following a few basic rules. Another important aspect for all vehicle owners is owning insurance. In India is it mandatory for all vehicle owners to have third-party insurance as per the Motor Insurance Act, 1988. Apart from third-party insurance one can consider buying health insurance and comprehensive car/bike insurance. During any unforeseen circumstances, insurance can aid policyholders financially. To know more about different insurance policies available in the market, click here!