Have you ever driven down a street that had no street signs? Vehicles in every direction that you look, each trying to make their way out of the chaos. Well, that’s what happens when you have no signs and rules to follow. Traffic signs, signals, road markings, and road safety rules have been laid down to avoid such nuisance on the road & ensure safety.
Traffic signs are not only meant for vehicle users, but for everyone who sets foot on the road. It is important for individuals to have a complete sense of the traffic signs so as to ensure everyone’s safety. Most accidents are caused due to negligence and disobeying road safety rules and traffic signs. The authorities have therefore laid down strict procedures and stringent rules to issue driving licenses. A driving license is only issued to those who have a sound knowledge of traffic signs and a clear understanding of road safety rules. As per Indian Roads Congress (IRC), road signs are divided into 3 categories, as listed below -
MANDATORY SIGNS: Mandatory signs, also known as regulatory signs, are the signs which make it compulsory for the drivers to follow the given instruction. These signs, generally put on a circular board, specify what exactly needs to be done as you drive ahead.
1. No stopping or standing - This sign means that you are not allowed to stop your vehicle on the road. Stopping your vehicle on such roads could cause a disruption and lead to a traffic jam.
2. Height Limit - This sign means that if your vehicle exceeds the given height limit, you are not allowed to go ahead as there could be a bridge or railway line that passes over the road.
3. Axle load limit - This sign specifies the amount of axle load that is allowed to be carried on the over bridge road.
4. Width Limit - This sign is generally put before a narrow lane. If the width of your vehicle is beyond the limit displayed on the sign board, then you are not allowed to drive on that particular road.
CAUTIONARY SIGNS: Cautionary sign boards are put as a warning for the driver to be careful about any potential dangers that he could encounter on the road. This is to ensure that the driver is alert and prepared for any hazard or problem. Such signs are generally triangular in shape:
1. Staggered intersection - This sign indicates that there is a short distance gap between the right turn and the left turn on this road. Crossing the road is not permitted at such an intersection.
2. Major road ahead - This sign is to warn the driver that the road is going to intersect with a major road, which could have faster moving traffic.
3. Loose gravel - This sign indicates that loose pebbles and stones could be lying on the road. Such sign boards are generally found in a hilly region.
4. Right hair pin bend - Such sign boards are generally found in a hilly terrain. Sometimes, sharp turns are difficult to see, thus these signs are placed for the driver to be prepared at the turning points.
5. School ahead - This sign board is placed on a road close to a school. It gives the driver an indication to slow down as children are not very cautious while crossing the road.
INFORMATIVE SIGNS: These blue coloured signs are put up to guide the road users about the route, destination, etc.
1. No through Road - This sign means that the road does not have an exit and it is a dead end. This board is put up at the beginning of such roads.
2. Flood Gauge - This sign is placed on the road near water bodies. It informs the driver about the water level and warns him to control the speed of the vehicle.
3. Park both side - This sign is generally put on the parking areas. It tells the driver that he is allowed to park the vehicle on both, the right side and the left side.
4. Hospital sign - This sign is placed to help people locate the nearest medical facility in their vicinity. It helps saves time in case of medical emergencies as the driver does not have to ask for directions.
Ignoring traffic signs on the road can be extremely dangerous and lead to road accidents. So, make sure that you obey the traffic signs and follow all the road safety rules as it will help you ensure your own safety as well as of others.