Before you hit the road with any vehicle that needs a license, as per ‘The Motor Vehicle Act 1988’, understand the updated traffic rules and road signs. A comprehensive guide by Mumbai traffic police that details the basic rules of driving, road traffic for the safety of everyone on the road.
One must know about the driving rules of the Mumbai traffic division, like road offences, fines, and penalties, the value and meaning of the white and yellow lines in the centre of every road in Maharashtra, parking rules, hand signals to use, vehicle number plates, number series and related RTO offices in Mumbai, frequently breached rules, special road safety guidelines for drivers and pedestrians, honking rules, and RTO offices in Mumbai.
Quick Updates On Traffic Rules, From Year 2015 to 2023
- Year 2021 to 2023: Sharp rise in fines and penalties in the years 2021, 2022, and 2023. In December 2021, the Traffic Police Department got stricken on Driving rules, road safety for drivers, pedestrians, and vendors, which increase jail terms and penalty amounts of lots of rules related to road driving and parking.
- 2019: Considering number breached rules and road accidents, and an increase in drink-and-drive cases in Mumbai, Updated fines were imposed.
- 2018: This year saw one of the biggest pushes for the Mumbai traffic rules awareness programme. The importance of road safety was explained politely and with fines at major junctions and traffic violation locations in Mumbai city. Awareness via media publications, vloggers, and bloggers, and trainings for traffic police to train riders, were seen all over.
- 2017: Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP Helpline) +91-8454999999 was released, We also updated the names of 36 traffic divisions and RTO Offices in Mumbai if anyone requires, which are Azad Maidan, Bandra, Bhoiwada, BKC, Borivali, Byculla, Chembur, Colaba, Colaba, D N Nagar, Dadar, Dahisar, Dindoshi, Ghatkopar, Jogeshwari, Kalbadevi, Kandivali, Kurla, Mahim, Malabarhill, Malad, Mankhurd, Matunga, Mulund, Nagpada, Pydhonie, Sahar, Sakinaka, Santacruz, Tardeo, Trombay, Vakola, Vikhroli, Wadala, Worli.
- 2016: Although every year before 2016, public awareness of traffic rules, road safety, etc. was raised, This was the year that actually saw mass media awareness and the start of getting stricter on traffic violations in Mumbai.
- 2015: Social media played a great role and still does. Updated traffic policies and new rules (example: Honking Rules) were implemented, which needed focus according to past experiences. Traffic divisions were seen getting strict on actions. Roadside parking and space crunch was a major problem, Cases of bribing traffic police and a few corrupted police who were taking bribes were getting reduced due to mobile videos, social media like Twitter and Facebook Live, etc.
Mumbai RTO Recognised Traffic Signs
One of the major and first things one must know while you are on learner’s driving license In Mumbai, there are various signs that are seen all around the road you drive on.
While learning to drive properly is very important, equally important is understanding the meaning of all those traffic signs seen frequently and a few less frequently. Below is a list and name of all those RTO recognised road traffic signs.
Frequently Seen Signs
Stop, give way, No Entry or Straight Prohibited, Pedestrian Prohibited, Right Turn, Left Turn, U Turn, Overtaking Prohibited, Horn Prohibited, No parking, stopping, or standing Speed Limit, Length Limit, Load Limit, Axle Load Limit, Restriction Ends Sign, Right Hand Curve, Left Hand Curve, Right Hair Pin Bend, Left Hand Pin Bend, Left Reverse Bend, Right Reverse Bend, Step Ascent, Steep Descent, Narrow Road Ahead, Narrow Bridge, Pedestrian Crossing, School Ahead, Ferry, Cross Road, Gap in Median, Major Road Ahead, Roundabout, Dangerous Dip, Hump or right, Check Post, Compulsory Turn Left, Compulsory Turn Right, Compulsory Ahead Only, Compulsory Sound Horn, Public Telephone, Petrol Pump, Hospital, First Aid Post, Light Refreshment, Move On (GO Sign), Hump, Overhead Channel, Explosive, flammable gas, flammable solid, spontaneously combustible, Poison, harmful, infectious substance, corrosive, End of Speed Limit, Road Junction Approach, Parking Signs (Park This Side or Park Both Sides), Unguarded Level Crossing, Guarded Level Crossing, Traffic signals are red (means stop), amber (means get ready to stop), and green (you can go ahead).
Less Frequently Seen Signs
Less frequent signs are those that are seen at particular locations like railway crossings, parking locations, and a few that alert of dangerous substances. Below are all those signs.
Unguarded and guarded level crossings, one-sided or both-sided parking signs. Major signs on national highways in Mumbai and other cities in India are like ‘Tea Cup Sign’ (for light refreshment at a hotel or restaurant available), ‘Petrol Pump’ (Petrol, Diesel, CNG Gas Station, etc.), ‘Hospitals’, ‘Public Telephone’ (a rare sign now), ‘First Aid Post’, ‘GO’ (keep moving), ‘Hump’ (this is a very common sign seen), ‘Overhead Channel’ (something to take care of on the roof side while driving).
Special indicators and signs like explosives, flammable gases, flammable solids, spontaneously combustibles, poisons, harmful substances, infectious substances, and corrosives.
Traffic Rules for Road Markings
There are eight different types of road markings, each with a different meaning. Mumbai traffic rules are particular about each of these road markings. The meanings of the same are detailed in the photos as well as below. I highly recommend reading a dedicated and detailed article about Traffic rules and white and yellow marking lines on the road.
- STOP LINE: Usually seen at road signal junctions just before Zebra Crossings. For the safety of pedestrians, these lines have been drawn. All vehicles should be standing behind this line.
- ZEBRA CROSSING/PEDESTRIAN CROSSING: Particularly alerting pedestrians to cross the road on this mark, but sadly, many locations in Mumbai are seen breaking this particular traffic rule, and vehicles stand right on top of this marker.
- GIVE WAY LINE: It alerts the driver about oncoming traffic that he should give way to.
- BARRIER LINE (Thick and Unbroken): In Mumbai, locally called Divider Lines. A strict road marking that alerts of dangers if actions like overtaking are done in that marked area.
- BARRIER LINE (Broken): Again, a divider line is usually seen on a two-lane road. This broken white line defines this area of road as ‘Two Way’ and should not be crossed or used for overtaking.
- LANE SEPARATOR LINES: 2 to 3 white broken lines on the same side of the road, head-on, define lane separators. One of the most breached traffic rules in Mumbai is for these markers. As per my understanding, extreme left is for slow moving vehicles, centre lane is for medium-speeding vehicles, and extreme right is for fast-moving vehicles. The same lane separator lines also have rules for Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) to drive on the right side lanes and for Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMV) to use the slow or medium speed lanes.
- 2 PARALLEL WHITE LINES: 2 white, thick, or unbroken lines in a particular area/zone of road means there is strictly no overtaking in that area. It is extremely dangerous.
- SINGLE BROKEN & THICK LINE: No lane changing is allowed on thick line areas, while a broken white line means, Take lane changing action with care.
What Hand Signals Say About Traffic Rules
5 simple hand signals or signs that help lower the risk of accidents while lane crossing and overtaking. Although when a person is driving inside a car with glasses closed and the AC on, tail light indicators are the only source of signal, and hand signals are not possible.
But these hand signals are equally important for 2 wheelers (bikes, scooters, etc.) and 3 wheelers (autos) to signal the vehicle behind to take actions such as overtaking or lane crossing accordingly.
- Hand signal for left turn: The hand is moved in a circular motion from right to left to indicate he is taking a left turn ahead.
- Hand signal for right turn: A stiff hand out (with or without) and shaky movements mean he is going to take the next right turn.
- Hand signal for stopping: A stiff hand pointing towards the sky is signalling to the vehicle behind that he is going to stop. many times Slowing down, signalling, and stopping are used together in emergencies.
- Hand signal for slowing down: waving the hand straight on the right and moving it up (a little) and down (more) indicates slowing down the vehicle.
- Hand Signal for allowing overtaking: Palm of hand signaling the vehicle behind to come, Which means it is safe to overtake and overtaking is allowed.
Traffic Lights and their Rules
There are three colours seen at traffic signals and the direction symbols that every driver should know about the movements. Remember, at most of the traffic signals there are powerful CCTV cameras, and your vehicle is always watched by traffic departments for violations.
You must adhere to traffic rules related to these signals and keep your patients safe to avoid fines.
These are three important traffic colours, and direction arrows (green and amber) are what control Mumbai traffic on all signals. Below are the traffic light rules to understand.
: Red is a stop signal, and you need to wait until the signal turns green. Remember, the stop line behind Zebra Crossing is the limit, and you need to be behind it or penalties can be applied.
: A green light indicates safety. You may proceed ahead with your vehicle in the allowed directions.
: Amber light stays for a few seconds. It indicates to be alert and cautions to slow down. When the amber light turns red, stop.
: A blinking or flashing red light means you must stop when around the signals and can move ahead when no vehicle obstructs your path. A blinking red light will never turn green, so safety and caution should be your utmost priorities.
- Direction Arrows in green indicate the allowed directions for the vehicles.
Punishments to Traffic Rules Violators
Traffic rules in Mumbai are getting stricter every year. It all boosted back in 2016. Those who violated traffic rules in Mumbai went through these two things: Licence be suspended for 3 months and compulsory attendance at counselling sessions of 2 hours.
What Not to Do While Driving in Mumbai to Save from Licence Suspension
- Do not drive when under the influence of alcohol.
- Do not use your mobile phones for texting or any other things while driving. Use hands-free, an AUX system, etc. for calls.
- DO not overload any vehicle.
- Always obey the speed limit.
- Do not carry passengers in goods vehicles.
- Never break signals
Traffic Police Guidelines for Motorists and Drivers
- Don’t compromise with low-quality, cheap helmets; always wear an ISI-marked one.
- Helmets are a boon for “two wheelers.” Take advantage of good inventions. Head injuries are the leading reason for road fatalities.
- Horns are meant to be used only when the situation is extreme. Just by honking, traffic never moves ahead. Use it mindfully.
- Respect pedestrians at zebra crossings, cyclists, etc., especially during bad weather. Stop or slow down when required.
- A driving license, RC book, insurance papers, tax document, and PUC certificate must be with you while on a bike or car. Commercial vehicles should also have vehicle fitness certificate.
- Lane cutting in the wrong way is an offence. Don’t do that.
- Always keep an eye on your vehicle. Service on time, check brakes regularly, and check tyre pressure regularly. Keep yourself and your family safe while driving. This helps lessen pollution too.
- Drinking and driving are unsafe for you and others on the road.
- Cooperate with other vehicles, understand hand signals, and drive safely. Remember, when you do it, you also get respect and a smile.
- Traffic signals are meant for safe movements. Follow all related traffic rules.
- Just a few seconds on mobile phones while driving is enough for a major accident. Avoid it.
- Upper and lower indicator lights, left and right turn indicators, and SOS are meant to be used for safety. Make it a habit and use them.
- Understand the speed limits, The sign boards at the roadside were put up after some study. You might be at higher risk as it may be an accident prone area.
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