Prudent Commuting

This month we bring you guidelines on how to be responsible in city environs

You may be the type of rider who would want to keep the speed and lean angles for the racetrack or a weekend ride and would rather be slow while on city streets. Or you could simply be the kind who is not attracted to speed and looks at a motorcycle as a convenient way to travel from point A to point B. Either way, you prefer maintaining slow speeds in city environs. But going slow is not the only way to being safe or responsible. In fact, going slow can be hazardous if not implemented in a proper manner. So this time around we are compiling a few tips on how to be a socially responsible commuter.

Do not use your mobile phones while riding
Use of mobile phones while riding is dangerous as it leads to a lack of concentration on the road and traffic. Some people who do away with the use of a hands free device tend to adopt different techniques of placing the mobile in the helmet or hold it between the ear and shoulder further increasing the chances of an accident. Hence it is recommended that you pull over to the side of the road while not disturbing the traffic flow and completing your conversation.

Restrict use of high beam
In most cities, street lighting is enough for clear visibility at night. Where it isn’t adequate, the headlights of your vehicle as well as the ones around you make up for it. There are very rare situations when you really need to have the bike’s high beam activated in city environs for visibility. These beams can blind the oncoming traffic and can make the oncoming vehicles steer straight towards you, resulting in a fatal accident.

Carry necessary documents
As per the RTO rules, it is mandatory to carry valid documents like your driving license, bike registration and tax papers/smartcard, insurance and P.U.C certificate at all times. In most cities, photocopies are allowed too, however, failure to carry any of these necessary documents may lead to monetary fines.

Be patient in traffic jams
Traffic jams usually happen due to an accident, broken down vehicle or the lack of proper traffic signals at an intersection. It gets worse when vehicles try to slot themselves into each and every inch of space available, thus making the jam even more difficult to declog. The easiest solution is to stick to your lane and maintain enough distance for the vehicles in front to move around and negotiate the jam easily.

Do not ride with objects hanging from the bike
As mentioned earlier, it is not recommended to hang bags or other luggage from the handlebar or your shoulder when riding. Such hanging objects can swing around while riding, can unsettle your balance and can obstruct the view for the riders or drivers following your vehicle. Such objects can even get entangled with the handlebars or rear view mirrors of bikes around you, thus causing an accident. Other such examples are helmets hung around the elbow, open zippers of riding jackets, holy cloth/threads on the handlebars, etc.


Give proper indications
While it is one of the most basic rules, most people tend to ignore it in day-to-day traffic. Showing hand signals and indicators while turning is not mandatory only at the license test but also while commuting on the street. Make sure you give proper signals to the traffic with regard to turning, overtaking and any other riding maneuver you are about to attempt. This will not only help the traffic behind you to understand your manoeuvre, but will also avoid chances of an accident.

Stop that noise
Do not unnecessarily honk. Be it a signal turning green or a traffic jam, continuous honking won’t do any good. The traffic will still move at its own pace and hence it’s better to move along than cause nuisance and sound pollution.'

Bike India Team – who has written posts on Bike India.

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