What You Should Know About Traffic Light Rules In India?

by Vivaan Khatri | 03/08/2020
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What are the basic traffic light rules in India that every road users must know? Here is all things you should know about the traffic signals in India.

Basically, the traffic light rules are universal and similar in every part of the world. The red-yellow-green traffic signal system means the same for people across the globe. However, apart from the colour code, there are also a couple of things that you might not be aware of the traffic lights. In case you want to dive into this subject, IndianAuto will give a detailed instruction on the traffic light rules that some road-users in India might find useful.

traffic singal light

How does traffic signal work?

A traffic signal comprises of major parts like the lights, controller and sensor. Even though the traffic light rules in India or in other parts of the world are the same, the technologies used for the traffic signal setting might be widely different. In a basic traffic light, the light will be operated depending on a preset timing system. This technology has some drawbacks. Since the timing is fixed, the traffic light cannot adjust in accordance with the traffic condition. It might cause congestion during peak hours. On the other hands, when the traffic is not busy, a long red light might be an unnecessary test on road-users’ patience and cause people to break the rules.


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However, traffic light setting using newer technology can easily solve this problem. Thanks to the equipment of sensors and detectors, the traffic light can sense the road flow and adapt to work effectively in a given traffic condition. With this responsive technology, situations like stopping at a red light while there is no oncoming traffic will not happen. This system works with a more complicated system which requires better infrastructure and more expensive technologies. For that reason, it is not widely applied in India.

What are the types of traffic signals?

Traffic signals are classified into 3 main types, based on the functions and its operations.

1. Traffic control signal

Traffic control signal is the most familiar one out of the three types of traffic signals. The traffic control signals work based on the three-colour light system. The red light indicates stop, while green light means that the vehicles are allowed to run. Yellow light is used to indicate the transition between the red and yellow, suggesting that the vehicles should slow down. There are three types of traffic signals, based on how it works. Two of which have been mentioned above, the fixed time signal with preset timing and the traffic-responsive signals that automatically adjust the timing according to the traffic situation. The third kind is manually operated signals. As the name might suggest, this type of traffic light can be adjusted manually by the traffic polices.


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2. Pedestrian signal

While the traffic controlled signals are used to regulate the vehicles on the road, the pedestrian signals are used to give the guide for pedestrians. The pedestrian signals will work in harmony with the traffic signals to make sure that both parties are safety when participating in the traffic.

\pedestrain traffic light

3. Special signals or flashing signal

Flashing signals are meant to give you a warning. If you see a red flashing signal, it means that the drivers of the vehicles must stop before the stop line while flashing yellow signals mean that drivers must go with caution.

Traffic Signal Rules  in India



Red light

Red light means stop. When the traffic signal turns red, the vehicles must stop. Vehicles are allowed to turn left at a red light if there is a turn-left sign. Still, the pedestrians and vehicles coming from the opposite direction have the right of way.

Red arrow

Red arrow suggests that the traffic signal should stop until the green arrow is on. A left or right turn is not allowed.

Flashing red light

Flashing red light also means stop. You can proceed if seeing no oncoming traffic.

Yellow light

Yellow light suggests a transition time before the red light turns on. Vehicles must slow down and stop before the light turns red.

Yellow arrow

A yellow arrow means that red light will appear soon. Vehicles must come to stop at this signal.

Flashing yellow light

Seeing flashing yellow light, you should slow down and pay close attention to the traffic.

Green light

Green light signal is the sign that the vehicles can go.

Green arrow

Green arrow also means GO. It also means that the vehicles are safe to make a right or left turns based on the direction of the arrow.

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