Two-Wheeler Protection: Traffic and Bike Safety Rules in India

It is estimated that approximately 400 deaths occur due to road accidents in India every day. Of these, the majority involve two-wheeler riders. Although financial losses can be easily reimbursed through bike insurance, India is a country where two-wheeler riders often lose their lives owing to ignorant and callous attitude towards road and traffic safety rules.

You can obtain a permanent driving license for two-wheelers once you’ve reached 18 years of age. However, your responsibility does not end there. You also need to pay heed to certain traffic and safety rules to keep yourself and others safe. 

Rules to be careful about while riding a bike in India

  • Riding under the influence of alcohol
    When people ride under the influence of alcohol, they are not only a hazard to themselves but to others around them too. Indian law treats drunken driving very seriously, and according to the road safety rules, an individual is not allowed to ride or drive if their alcohol level is higher than 30mg per 100ml of blood. In terms of common measure, that’s about a standard small-sized peg.
    A police officer can legally arrest you if you’re riding your two-wheeler under the influence of alcohol. The penalty for a first offence is a fine of Rs. 1000 and/or imprisonment up to six months. In the case of a repeat offence, you can be asked to pay a fine of up to Rs. 15000 and/or face two years of imprisonment.
  • Riding dangerously or rashly
    Driving your two-wheeler dangerously or rashly is a punishable offence by law. Dangerous driving can be construed as any kind of driving behaviour that endangers the lives of others. So, for instance, you are not allowed to use your phone while riding a two-wheeler and you can’t suddenly veer and weave through traffic causing disturbances for others.
    Dangerous driving can carry a fine of up to Rs. 5000 and/or up-to one year of imprisonment for the first offence. For a second offence, the fine can go up to Rs. 10000 and/or up-to 2 years of imprisonment.
  • Riding without a helmet
    It is illegal in India to ride a two-wheeler without a helmet. Unlike four-wheeler owners, two-wheeler riders are exposed to the elements without any external protection whatsoever. In case of a mishap, it is imperative to protect one’s head from injuries helmets can literally save lives.
    If found riding without a helmet, you can be fined Rs. 1000 and your driving license can be suspended for three months.
  • Over speeding
    Over speeding on a two-wheeler can prove to be fatal. When you’re riding at high speeds, you might not get enough time to react to unforeseen situations and might lose control of your two-wheeler, leading to dire consequences. This is the reason why all major Indian roads have a permissible speed limit. As per the road and traffic safety rules of India, going over this speed limit is punishable by law.
    Over speeding can carry a penalty of up to Rs. 2000.
  • Invalid driving license
    A driving license is a must. You can only obtain a permanent driving license for two-wheelers once you’ve reached 18 years of age. Riding without a valid driving license is illegal in India.
    In case you’re caught driving your two-wheeler without a valid driving license, you will have to pay a fine of Rs. 5000.
  • Invalid insurance
    A third-party insurance policy is mandated by Indian law for all vehicles operating on Indian roads. So, every Indian bike rider is required to have valid two-wheeler insurance. India has a lot of insurance companies that offer two-wheeler insurance, and you can easily find a bike insurance policy that fits your specific requirements.
    If found riding without valid insurance, you can face a fine of up to Rs. 2000 and/or up-to three months of imprisonment for the first offence. In the case of repeat offences, the fine can increase to Rs. 4000 along with three months imprisonment.
  • Overloading of two-wheeler
    A recent amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act 2019 makes overloading of pillion riders on a two-wheeler a legally punishable offence. As per prevailing laws, only two people are allowed to ride on a two-wheeler at the same time, i.e., the primary rider and a pillion rider.
    If you are caught driving a two-wheeler with more than one pillion rider, you can be fined up to Rs. 2000 and your license can be disqualified for up to three months.
  • Jumping traffic lights
    The entire objective of traffic lights is to regulate traffic, avoid traffic jams and prevent unnecessary mishaps. The road and traffic safety rules in India require two-wheeler riders to obey traffic signals at all times. Jumping a red light is a punishable offence.
    Jumping a red light carries a fine of Rs. 1000 along with the suspension of driving license.

Summing up

It is in the best interests of every two-wheeler rider to stringently follow road and traffic safety rules. Besides the legal implications, riding safely and following the rules is also necessary in order to avoid any bodily harm to yourself as well as your two-wheeler.

Failure to follow the aforementioned safety rules can lead to accidents and have you scrambling to check bike insurance papers again and again. If you want to become a good and safe biker, ensure that you follow the rules mentioned here.