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Things to Know : Traffic Laws and Two-Wheeler Ride in India

Most cities in India have a flawed public transport system. As a result, there is congestion in the state transport buses and even in the privately operated buses that ply the city roads. Apart from the crowd, the frequency of these buses is a question unanswered. In rush hours, you may hang around the designated bus stop for hours without indicating when the next bus required to reach your destination will arrive.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Besides, Metro train service, you can drive a two-wheeler across the length and breadth of the city you live in. Like a true two-wheeler enthusiast, you can enjoy the sun on your face and wind through your hair while you reach your destination in style. In the current scenario owning a motorbike is the best option for mobility and routine travel and a blessing in disguise during emergencies. Today, you can walk into any two-wheeler showroom, get your two-wheeler loan approved, and walk away with your desired two-wheeler.

However, there some traffic rules that you will need to adhere to unless you want to get on the wrong side of the traffic cops while riding your motorbike. So, here is a reference list of the basic traffic rules for you to follow in India.


Riding a motorbike is fun, but safety is your utmost concern while riding in city traffic. For this, please take care to ride with a branded and BIS authorized helmet. It will protect you during any mishap like skidding on the roads.

Driving License, RC Book, PUC, and Insurance

While riding a motorbike, there are certain regulatory compliance documents that you need to carry at all times. These are your valid two-wheeler license, the motorbike registration paper, or the RC book as it is called in traffics law parlance. A PUC certificate testifying the motorbike is in good condition and does not create any pollution. And your motorbike insurance papers. All these have to be produced when asked for by the traffic cop else you will land up paying heavy penalties.

Avoid Speeding or Rash Driving

It is fun to feel the testosterone rise while taking your motorbike for a spin at high speeds on open highways. But be careful not to overdo it; speeding and rash driving can lead to severe accidents, which can leave you in dire straits medically and legally. If you keep getting traffic challans for speeding, your insurance claims can get rejected as per your bank policies, a precondition written in small fonts at the bottom, which many of us overlook.

Jumping Traffic Signals

Everyone’s in a hurry nowadays, but that does not give you the authority to break the basic traffic rule. When the signal is Red, you have to keep your two-wheeler behind the stop line on the road; that’s the rule. Let those who are honking behind you wait. In your hurry, if you jump signals, traffic cops are sure to catch you, and if this happens frequently, you are in trouble with your two-wheeler insurance company.


The light indicators have to be used whenever you are making a turn. Use the correct light to indicate the vehicle behind to avoid any accident. Use the left indicator while turning to the left and the right indicator while turning to the right. Use the right-hand gesture while making a sharp U-turn to avoid miscommunication with the oncoming vehicles or the vehicles behind you.

Pillion Rider

We all know what fun it is to ride with your partner or friend on your two-wheeler. But make sure you have only one pillion rider on your motorbike as per the traffic rules guidebook. Riding with more than one pillion rides will attract a heavy penalty from the traffic cops if you are caught. As per the new Motor Vehicles Act amended in 2016, even the pillion rider must wear a helmet while riding with you on the motorbike.

Focus on the Road

The bike rider’s attention and focus should always be on the road ahead. There is no compromise to this rule, as even a small attention deficit can lead to an accident. Keep your eyes open for the indications given by your fellow vehicle drivers. Also, be wise to understand and follow the various traffic-related signboards on the road for enjoying a safe ride on your two-wheeler.

Riding on National Highways and in Hilly Terrains 

Riding a two-wheeler in the city is effortless, but you need to be extra careful while riding your motorbike if you plan a cross-country journey. Here you will have to read and understand the various traffic signs for road safety on the National Highways. Be careful while over-taking; never do it on single-lane roads or narrow bridges. Also, while biking through the twisted ghats in the hilly terrain, you need to honk in advance if you are turning on a blind curve, so the incoming vehicle knows of your presence on the road.

Use the Rear-View Mirrors

The rearview mirror helps the two-wheeler rider see the vehicle behind him and judge the speed with which they are whizzing past him. Using the rear-view correctly will help any two-wheeler rider adjust his speed and use during smooth lane changing.

Be Careful While Pulling Over

While riding your two-wheeler, sometimes, it becomes imperative you need to pull over to take a call or for sudden emergencies, like when the two-wheeler is giving you a technical issue. So, first, use your indicator to signal that you are moving to the left lane, start slowing down, and pull over to the extreme left and only then take a hard stop.

In India, as per the official transport ministry statistics, 2 lakh lives are lost every year due to careless driving and non-adherence to traffic laws. To mitigate this risk, the central government introduced an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act in 2016. It passed a law in the parliament with the consensus of 18 state transport ministries to make traffic laws more stringent. Even the punishment for a traffic violation has become stricter.

Owning a two-wheeler and riding on the road is fun, and it shall remain so if we, as law-abiding citizens, take the responsibility to drive safely. We must maintain the civic as well as traffic sense for all to enjoy a good two-wheeler ride.

Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

About Motorbikes India

Motorbikes India (MI) is an online magazine about motorcycles in India. Motorbikes news, articles, clubs & events, routes, insurance, finance, maintenance & safety. We welcome contributions, from anyone that is enthusiastic about biking. If you are part of a motorbike club in India, please be sure to keep your club info and events up to date in our clubs section.

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