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Old 31st January 2005, 20:34   #1
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Lightbulb INFO: Traffic Logic

Hi guys, here are snippets from the newsletter i get from maruti..I thought that I must share with u, i'll keep adding more to it as & when i get them, pls feel free to contribute & educate everyone about these.

Traffic Logic

Emergency vehicles

Rule : Emergency vehicles (fire engines, ambulances, and police; with blue flashing light and/or siren) get complete priority over all other traffic. Give way, even if the traffic light is against them and in your favour.

Traffic logic : Obvious! They are rushing to save lives; you are not.

Courtesy : Pull over to the side of the road immediately, and stay there till they have passed. Never attempt to cut traffic lights in their wake. This is illegal, anyway.

Traffic lights: amber and red flashing lights

Rule : At crossings, an amber (yellow) flashing light is a 'caution'. Slow, check if the crossing is safe, and move. A red flashing light is for 'stop, look and go'. Come to a complete stop, check if the crossing is safe, and then move.

Traffic Logic: These lights are put at unregulated crossings. Usually, main road traffic gets the 'caution' and side road traffic gets the 'stop' light. At 'caution', slow to about 25 kph to be safe. Remember, you need time enough to check all the other roads, especially the one on your right.
Regulated crossings may switch to flashing late at night, when traffic is less. Here, too, amber is 'caution' and red is 'stop, look and go'. Always check at such crossings, the other driver may not be careful enough, especially at night.

Rule :At regulated crossings, when the light is amber (yellow), go only if you can cross the complete crossing before the light turns red. Otherwise, stop before the stop line.

Traffic Logic: If the lights change straight from green to red, the driver may not be able to clear the crossing before the green-light traffic reaches his car. This may cause crashes. Hence, four seconds before the light turns red, there is an amber indication.
If you cannot clear the crossing before the light turns red (this can get you a challan), stop before the stop line. Within the speed limit, this is always possible. In case of slow and heavy traffic (jam), stop immediately as the light turns yellow.
In many cities, there is a countdown timer for red and green lights (timed for straight traffic). Use this information wisely, and avoid speeding at the crossing.

Also please note that you have to clear the crossing before the light turns red. The amber light gives you enough time to do so if you have crossed the stop line while the light is green. If it turns amber before you reach the stop line, you should stop.

Rule : At regulated crossings, stop at a red light, go on a green light.

Traffic Logic: Heavy traffic crossings need regulation. As you know, a green light indicates go, red means stop. Never cross the stop line if the light is red, as you may cause a crash.

If there is a single light, it is possible for opposing traffic to be 'go' at the same time. Traffic turning right should wait for straight traffic from the opposite side to clear the crossing first. Usually, there are separate lights for straight and right.

Most left turns are 'free'. However, in heavy traffic, wait for straight traffic from your right (if any) to clear the crossing before you turn left ('give way' to traffic on your right). Always check for signs that left is not free, especially on unfamiliar turns.

Rule : The headlight should be on low beam if there is on-coming traffic.

Traffic Logic: Headlights on high beam blind drivers in on-coming traffic (towards you). They would not be able to see pedestrians or obstructions on the road in the glare. This is a safety hazard. Put the beam on low, at least until the other vehicles are completely past. Avoid using high beam except on highways without streetlights. Traffic police challan drivers using high beam within city limits.

Courtesy: Clicking the headlight off and on is a request to the on-coming driver to put the headlight on low beam.

Rule : The speed limit for residential areas, near schools, hospitals etc is 25 kph, even if not marked.

Traffic Logic: Such areas have many pedestrians, especially small children who do not know the dangers of the road. Children do not notice vehicles while playing. They are 2-3 times slower than adults to react to a horn, and may run the wrong way. There are also pets in residential areas, which can jump in the path of a car. Near hospitals, there may be invalids who cannot move fast. A vehicle should be able to stop instantly in these cases. With maximum braking, your car can stop within 4 metres from 25 kph. To stop within 1 m, stay below 13 kph. To ensure you stay below the legal 25 kph, stay in 3rd gear or, better, in 2nd gear.

Rule : Certain roads have marked speed limits. You are not permitted to exceed this speed.

Traffic Logic: Speed limits are set based on traffic conditions on that road, to ensure road safety. E.g., highway speed limits are quite high, while in school areas they are low. In India, the design speed of highways is 60 kph. It is not advisable to exceed this speed on turns. Speed limits on divided urban roads are usually 50 kph for cars. On undivided roads, this may be 30. Residential areas are 25 kph unless there is a sign stating otherwise. Exceeding the speed limit endangers pedestrians and other road users, as well as the speeder. The faster the car, the more the chances of a crash, and the more severe the injuries and property damage. Some weak bridges also have low speed limits, as a faster vehicle puts more load on the structure. If visibility is low, e.g. at night or in rain/fog, it is advisable to stay 10 kph below the daytime limit.

Rule : If the driver is to leave the roundabout less than halfway around it, the driver must enter the roundabout from the left marked lane or left line of traffic.

Traffic Logic: This Rule applies to drivers who will leave the roundabout at the first exit after entering the roundabout, or when the exit is less than halfway around the roundabout.
By keeping to the left lane and keeping the left turn indicator on during this time, the driver is saved the trouble of first switching to the right lane and then working his/her way back to the left.

Rule : If the driver is to leave the roundabout more than halfway around it, the driver must enter the roundabout from the right marked lane or right line of traffic.

Traffic Logic: By switching to the right lane immediately after entering the roundabout, a driver who has to travel at least halfway around it is saved the trouble of negotiating around other drivers who are exiting the roundabout, and those who are entering the roundabout from other intersection points.

Driving at Intersections

Rule : Straight traffic gets priority over turning traffic

Traffic Logic: You have to slow down for a turn anyway. It is easier to stop when slower. This is true for both straight roads and crossings.

Rule : Main road traffic has priority over side road traffic

Traffic Logic: Main road traffic is faster than side road traffic. Main roads are also more crowded. If main road traffic stops for side road traffic, there will be a jam. Side roads rarely have enough traffic to cause a jam.

Use of Horns and Silence Zones

Rule : A driver of a vehicle shall not
(i) sound the horn needlessly or continuously or more than necessary to ensure safety;
(ii) sound the horn in silence zones;
(iii) make-use of a cut-out by which gases are released other than through the silencer;
(iv) fit or use any multi-toned horn giving a harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noise;
(v) drive a vehicle creating undue noise when in motion;
(vi) drive a vehicle with a muffler causing alarming sound.

Traffic Logic:
1. Use of horns in silence zones like hospitals, disturbs patients, some of whom maybe in a critical state
2. Excessive and shrill horns startles pedestrians and other drivers on the roads. They may lose control and this may cause accidents
3. Too much sound from the horns also contributes to noise pollution

Who should give way to whom is set by road Rules. This applies to all vehicles, irrespective of size. i.e., the bigger vehicle does not always have priority!

Rule : On straight roads or unregulated crossings, give way to traffic on your right.

Traffic Logic:
(a) Faster traffic moves on the right of the road (furthest from pedestrians). It is easier for slower vehicles to stop than faster vehicles
(b) While driving, we sit on the right side. Thus, it is easier to see vehicles on the right than the left. So, if you are to the left, you give way. If you are to the right, you have right of way. E.g. if you are on the left and want to turn right, and a car is coming up behind you on the right, slow and wait for it to pass before turning. If you can't "see" him on your right, he surely can't "see" you on his left!


Last edited by Technocrat : 26th August 2009 at 17:07.
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