Saturday, August 29, 2015

Basic traffic rules which Bhutanese motorists should be aware of

My wife is currently undergoing a 3-month driving training at Gangjung Driving Institute and she has recorded some of her theory classes since the Institute does not share the handouts to ensure 100% attendance of participants. Just a while ago, I was listening to one of her recordings and I found some interesting information which I am going to share here on my blog. I am sure it’s going to be of great benefit to all those drivers who have not undergone professional driving training.

There are basically three different types of traffic signs: mandatory, cautionary and informatory. The mandatory or compulsory traffic signs appear in circular or round shapes and these signs must be strictly followed. Fines are levied when these signs are not followed. The cautionary signs which appear in triangular shapes alert the drivers that they should be careful. Signs indicating the presence of a narrow bridge, slippery road, schools/hospitals or anything dangerous ahead are cautionary signs. . The informatory signs like the ones that indicate the presence of fuel stations, hotels/restaurants, hospitals and other emergency facilities provide information and serves as a guide for the motorists. These signs appear in rectangular shapes. For more details about these traffic signs, you may visit RSTA's website

A car has two main indicator lights: one on the left and another on the right. But they have multiple functions. The left indicator has five functions as follows:

  • To turn to the left

  • To enter the parking lot

  • To give way to the car coming from behind

  • To invite the approaching car

  • To get back to the lane after overtaking a car.

The right indicator has three functions:

  • To turn to the right

  • To overtake a car

  • To get out of a parking lot.

The motorists are also advised to keep a safe distance from other cars while changing lanes or overtaking another car. The indicator-lights must be activated at least 3-5 seconds before reaching the actual point of action so that other drivers would have enough time to give you a safe space to do what you intend to do.

The motorists are also not allowed to overtake in the following situations:

  • At Zebra or Pedestrian Crossings;

  • During a foggy day/night;

  • Narrow or muddy roads;

  • Blind turnings (sharp turning);

  • Bends;

  • Congested areas like towns, roundabouts, etc.;

  • Where people are at work like road-side workers.

I found that all these rules and traffic signs are very important for the safety of both drivers and pedestrians, but I am just wondering if all our drivers are aware of all of them. If all the drivers strictly observe these rules and follow the signs accurately, I am sure the traffic accidents can be drastically reduced in Bhutan. Today, most of the accidents are being caused due to negligence on the part of drivers. So, I just thought it might be beneficial to some aspiring drivers if I share those information on my blog. My wife is in her second month of training and I hope she would successfully complete her training and become a good and well-disciplined driver someday. She has also learned the ethics of driving such as being respectful to other motorists and pedestrians which, I think, is very important. She has been told that a good driver must be compassionate, patient and cool-tempered. I wish if all of us were born with this gene in our blood!

1 comment:

  1. This is a good read thank you for sharing. I personally feel that our traffic police are not qualified or well trained in their respective field to be enforcing rules which im pretty sure they hardly know. even the road designs particularly at some junctions like below the lungtenzampa bridge is an inviting spot for accidents waiting to happen. first and foremost people should be well informed about the rules and the tests that they make you do while doing the exam is just a means of conducting it. the question papers that they handout is literally scribbled with the answers (the question paper was really worn out while i was doing the exams) , i dont know what RSTA is planning on doing, but i personally feel RSTA is a big baloney.