Rules of the road regulations

Each time we have a discussion about bad driving on Indian roads, a question gets asked, "What are the road rules?  Where is it available?"  We tell how comprehensive the rules are in US and how easy it is to access the rules.  We talk about "the right of way", "the right way to turn right", "high beams", "overtaking" and so on.

The last time I checked, I could not find any such rules on the Net.  I decided to give another shot at it today.

Searching for "Indian Driving rules" brought up Indian Driving Schools as the top result. The Traffic Rules link in that is just giving some funda - good for nothing!

Moving down the search results, I found a link to Delhi Traffic Police. "Ah, this is what I want", thought I.  Learn Traffic Rules, said a link and hovering over it revealed the true picture - Traffic Police Hand signals, Traffic Light signals and so on.  Not road rules.

I then changed my search and hit upon the website of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. This had a link to the Central Motor Vehicles Rule 1989 which in turn led to Rules of the Road Regulations 1989.

Yes, I had finally got to the "official documentation" of the road rules.  There are 20 sections, each opening a new pdf page - for instance, this one on the right of way. I found a single page pdf in Bihar Government Transport website.

It is a disappointing document.  Imagine that the rules have not been updated close to 25 years now!  I could point out a bunch of thing which do not exist in the document - wearing seat belt, driving under influence...

But then I found this handbook by Rajeev Nanda based on California's DMV Handbook.  This looks much better written and possibly much more relevant to those interested in Indian road rules.

The next time someone asks me where are the rules, I have these documents to show for it.  Now the harder question of making people read it, understand it and follow it.







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