Road Cycling in India

Rules of the Road for Drivers and Cyclists

Mark Sanyal NEWS Leave a Comment

While cars are perfectly suited to take us from place to place, cycles offer a more healthy and environmentally-friendly way to travel short distances. As more people take up cycling and start to use roads to travel to nearby destinations, it’s important that cyclists and drivers alike are aware of the rules of the road for driving and cycling safely. On World Bicycling Day, whether you are a cyclist or a motorist, these rules of the road will help you travel safely.

Rules for Driving near Cyclists

Always leave space for cyclists

Space for cyclists on road

As car drivers, we tend to take as much space on the road as possible. While staying in one lane is advised, there are times when we drive close to the sidewalk. The Give Cycle Space initiative aims to raise awareness to give cyclists 1.5-metre, which is the width of a car. While space is at a premium on Indian roads, you should try to give as much space as possible for cyclists to travel safely.

Slow down near cyclists

If you notice cyclists on the road, it is advised to slow down safely. You should do this so that the cyclist is not startled by a fast moving object. Slowing down also makes driving around cyclists safer for you as it gives you time to react to any erratic behaviours of the cyclists.

Stay alert at intersections

Busy Intersection in India

In India, many cyclists tend to not wait for traffic lights to change to safely cross. Keeping this in mind, when crossing an intersection, pay attention to any cyclists who may be cycling through the intersection and into your path. Your caution at the intersection could help prevent an accident.

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Safely give right of way

Being the larger automobile, we have right of way in most circumstances. However, if you notice a cyclist on the road, make sure you give right of way to them. While it may require a bit more patience on your end, giving right of way to the cyclist will allow them to maintain momentum and safely cycle out of your way.

Rules for Cycling on Road

Always wear safety gear

Cycling helmet

The number one rule when cycling is to always wear your safety gear, especially the helmet. While it may not seem significant for a short trip, the helmet and other safety gear could be life saving in the event of an accident. Never underestimate the humble helmet.

Another life-saving safety equipment are hazard lights high visibility clothing. These are essential when cycling in the evening as it signals your presence to other drivers on the road. This makes it easier for motorists to spot you and give you the space you need.

Observe all traffic rules

As a cyclist, you might consider yourself as a pedestrian, but when you’re cycling on the road, you are essentially a motorist. As such, you should observe all the traffic rules when you’re cycling on the road. This includes stopping at red lights, changing lanes safely, and turning when safe.

Be cautious at intersections

Cyclists at intersection

As a cyclist you should be prepared for regular motorists not noticing you. Especially at intersections, you should cautiously cross as a car or bike might not notice you and collide with you. Pay attention to other motorists near you and cross the intersection safely.

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Always be attentive on the road

Cycling is a healthy way to travel short distances but it does come with its share of dangers as well. When cycling on road, always be attentive of other motorists and yourself. Practicing discipline on the road will help you safely cycle and enjoy your short trips without much trouble or incident.

More people are moving towards cycling for shorter trips and are taking to the roads to travel. It is important for both drivers and cyclists to respect the rules of the road while also giving each other space to travel safely. When travelling on the road, the rules of the road are equal for all and in the same spirit, both drivers and cyclists should treat each other with equality.

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