Did You Know You Had Been Using Hazard Lights Wrongly All Along?

In India, most people are unaware about the correct use of hazard lights, mostly using it to indicate for going straight ahead at junctions or for better visibility in tricky conditions. Here’s how you should actually be using them.

Here in India, the unawareness with regard to road rules, regulations and signs is highly alarming. Without any formal training for motorists while procuring their driving licenses, most road users in India aren’t even aware of the most basic road signs and rules. The most common evidence of this is perhaps drivers not dipping their high beams towards oncoming traffic. There’s another such use of lights which most people frequently get very wrong and that’s the proper use of hazard lights.

In India, most people are unaware about the correct use of hazard lights. Here's how you should actually be using them.
In India, most people are unaware about the correct use of hazard lights. Here’s how you should actually be using them.

How are hazard lights used on our roads?

Here in India, the hazards lights are used to indicate all sorts of different things but is seldom used correctly. You will find people using hazard lights to indicate them going straight ahead at junctions or even for extra visibility when driving fast. Some drivers even use it for extra visibility during rain or foggy conditions. However, the most common practice is to indicate for going straight ahead at junctions and surprisingly, its a well understood and widely adopted sign.

What’s the correct use of hazard lights?

The correct use of hazard warning lights is already there in its name. The main function of hazard warning light is to indicate that the vehicle is stationary on the road and is temporarily obstructing traffic. It is to be used when a vehicle is stranded in a precarious position on the road either due to an accident or breakdown. The blinking lights suggest other motorists about a stationary vehicle on the road and they can then either slow down or avoid the obstruction accordingly.

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There are steps being taken against motorists for improper use of hazard lights

The traffic police in Shillong, Meghalaya, has issued a warning to motorists for improper use of hazard warning lights. Under section 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act, the traffic police in Shillong will now be fining motorists for improper use of hazard lights. Motorists will be fined Rs 1,00 for their first offence while subsequent offences will be attracting a penalty of Rs 3,00 each. While its just the traffic police in Shillong taking such measures right now, we hope something similar is soon implemented across the entire country.

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The Shillong traffic police even posted instructions on their social media page about the correct use of hazard lights in an effort o educate road users. The post explicitly stated that indicators don’t need to be used while driving straight ahead at junctions. While this is only one small aspect of road safety and awareness, a lot needs to be done to properly educate Indian road users with rules and regulations to create a safer environment for everybody on the road.