Any expat who want to drives in India will be aghast by the disorder on Indian roads. While traffic rules do exist in India, they are not very rigorously followed. Parking rules are not strict and you can even park your car facing against traffic without getting fined. However, if you park in a neighbourhood in front of someone’s house (in what they consider “their parking spot”), they make take revenge by deflating your tyres, a cruel, but not very logical, way of getting rid of you.

Some of the most basic rules are:

  • In India, everyone drives on the left.
  • Use of a seat belt is mandatory.
  • It is an offense to drive while talking on a mobile phone or smoking.
  • The International Driver’s License (IDL) is recognized in India. You will need both the IDL and a valid driving license issued by the right authority in your home country.
  • Third-party insurance is mandatory. Always keep the insurance policy and your driving permits with you when you are driving.

For detailed list of traffic rules and signals, please check the following sites:

What to do in case of an accident

Do not expect much roadside assistance if you have an accident. It is not uncommon for the bystanders to be afraid to offer assistance when an accident occurs out of fear of the police, who are notorious for brutality and for demanding bribes.

If an accident does happen, try to remain calm. Even if the accident is not serious, you and driver of the other car should exchange information, including name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number. If there are other witnesses, ask for their contact information, in case they need to help you clarify what happened. Also note down the name of the policeman who comes to the scene.

You must report the accident to the nearest police station within 24 hours, as well as to your insurance company. If you have a camera on your cell phone or in your car, use it to photograph and document the accident. Your insurance agency might want to document the scene of the accident. Include the overall context of the accident, meaning where it happened, what landmarks were around the accident, etc.

File a police report or ask for assistance by calling the Delhi Traffic police at the following numbers 100 (the emergency number), 2301-0101, 98811-45220.

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