Signals, Signs and Lights

  • Keep sharp look out for traffic signs, signals and road markings.
  • Be careful at cross-roads.
  • Where the traffic is regulated with the help of lights, stop where the light is ‘red’, get ready to move it is ‘yellow’ and move when it is ‘green’. In other senses, follow the hand-signals of the Traffic Policeman.
  • When you stop, stop only at the places meant for parking.
  • Use signal lights when you wish to turn.
  • Use the dipper at night.
  • See that your lights are in good condition and are properly adjusted. Do not use more lights than you need, but maintain proper illumination for smooth travel on roads.
  • There are three types of traffic signs: -

  1. Mandatory signs : Failure to follow them is punishable
  2. Cautionary signs : Failure to follow them is risky
  3. Informatory signs : Failure to follow them may cause inconvenience. Follow them carefully.

  • When you are about to turn to the right or are driving to the right hand side of the road I order to pass another vehicle, or for any other similar purpose, extend your right arm horizontally, out-side and to the right of your vehicle, with the palm of the hand turned to the front.
  • In case you are turning to the left, extend your right arm and rotate it in an anti-clock wise direction.
  • While slowing down, extend your right arm with the palm downward to the right of the vehicle and move the arm so extended, up and down several times, in such a manner that the signal can be seen by the driver of any vehicle which may be behind you. Do not forget to look at the mirror (rear view) well before slowing down.
  • When about to stop, raise your right forearm vertically outside and to the right of the vehicle keeping your palm facing the front.
  • When you wish to indicate to the driver of the vehicle following your vehicle, that he may overtake you, extend your right arm horizontally outside and to the right of the vehicle and swing the arm backward and forward in a semi-circular manner.
  • Do not forget to use your mirror and look around and give correct signals before moving your vehicle.
  • Drive the vehicle in conformity with any indication given by a mandatory traffic sign and in conformity with driving regulations and comply with all directions given to you by any police officer.

Stop the vehicle when any police officer in uniform or any officer of the Enforcement side of Transport Department give you signal to stop and produce all the documents on demand for examination.

Potential Pitfalls in Crash Reporting

The purpose of this hot topic section is to provide assistance related to the collection of truck and bus data reported to FMCSA’s SAFETYNET to States that are currently revising or planning to revise their police accident report. We recognize that the committees assembled for report revisions may contain competing interests and that truck and bus crashes represent a small percentage of the overall crash population. However; truck and bus crashes do represent a significant traffic safety issue. The items identified here were garnered from an analysis of every State in the country’s crash report as it related to the collection truck and bus data. For reference, included below is a downloadable guide to SAFETNET crash data requirements and definitions.

Problems Identifying Motor Carriers

In many cases, the company name and USDOT Number on the driver's side of the vehicle identifies the motor carrier responsible for the safe transportation of the goods or persons. However, practices common in the industry such as leasing of a vehicle or being an agent of another carrier can create situations that complicate identification. As a result, it is often difficult for officers to record the proper motor carrier. For example, what should be recorded when there are multiple names and/or multiple USDOT numbers Or, no information at all

Traffic Enforcement

The Traffic Enforcement (TE) sub-module provides information about the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) Traffic Enforcement Program which is a component of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), a grant program administered and funded by the FMCSA and conducted by State enforcement personnel.

An inspection is identified as a traffic enforcement event when at least one traffic violation is present in the inspection. Only those traffic enforcements that initiate a subsequent roadside inspection are included in the MCSAP program. Also, if a roadside inspection results in only alcohol or drug related violations then it is not considered a Traffic Enforcement inspection. The traffic enforcement program is based on nineteen state or local traffic enforcement violations noted in conjunction with a roadside inspection.

Smart Roadside for Commercial Vehicles Operations

As part of the CVISN Deployment Program and other FMCSA initiatives, new roadside technologies/concepts of operations (e.g. wireless truck and bus inspections, hazardous material operational test, untethered trailer tracking, and vehicle-infrastructure communications) are being explored. Further, numerous non-FMCSA (e.g. Electronic Freight Manifest) and private sector initiatives will impact the adoption and use of onboard and vehicle-infrastructure technology by commercial vehicle operators. All of these efforts are anticipated to enhance some aspect of roadside operations, but greater integration and coordination, along with additional technology process changes, are required for the benefits to be fully realized. As such, FMCSA is developing the Smart Roadside for Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) project to integrate appropriate roadside and in-vehicle systems into a data sharing network.

The overall goal of Smart Roadside for CVO projects is to reduce crashes and provide faster crash scene management, provide more efficient and effective trips and operations, reduce infrastructure costs, and reduce congestion and delays. The project will facilitate changes in the way that commercial drivers, carriers, and public sector enforcement and operations personnel manage the safety, security, and mobility of trucks and buses on the nation highway system. The project will also integrate existing and emerging technologies, link CVO systems to other types of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and information technology investments, and create an information-rich roadside transportation system, where ITS provides critical information for users and managers of the system in a variety of formats and across a wide range of users.

Onboard Monitoring – FOT

Based on the results of the “Onboard Monitoring to Improve Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety” effort, this FOT will involve approximately 20 instrumented vehicles and approximately 40 drivers to determine whether onboard monitoring and feedback (real-time and delayed) can improve commercial motor vehicle driver performance and safety. It is envisioned that the technology suite will provide driver performance feedback on a number of critical safety factors including hours of service, lane keeping, steering and pedal inputs, safety belt usage, following distance, turn signal use, and hard braking and hard steering events.

Evaluation of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

The goals of this project include gaining a better understanding of the effectiveness of tire pressure monitoring systems when used in the real world, thoroughly documenting the cost/benefits, and encouraging the development and deployment of these systems by convincing carriers that they have the potential to enhance the safety of their fleets, streamline operations, and have a reasonable payback period. This project will: (1) update and expand upon FMCSA past market research study of tire inflation maintenance and management products, (2) design and conduct an FOT of these technologies, and (3) conduct a symposium and public meeting on tires for heavy highway vehicles.

Keep in Mind ...

Some of your actions may limit your mover's liability. These include:

  • Packing perishable, dangerous or hazardous materials in your household goods without your mover's knowledge.
  • Packing your own boxes. You may consider packing your own household goods articles to reduce your costs, but if the articles you pack are damaged, it may be more difficult to establish your claim against the mover for the boxes you pack.
  • Choosing Released Value coverage when your household goods are valued at more than 60 cents per pound per article.
  • Failing to notify your mover in writing about articles of extraordinary value.

Transport Usage in the Automotive Industry

The use of international air transport for emergency imports of components amounted to approximately 6000 tons in 2002, whilst exports amounted to 3000 tons for the same year.

The usage of road and rail by the automotive manufacturing industry, although complex and extensive, does not amount to significant tonnages overall.

Most of the fully built-up motor vehicles transported in South Africa now move by road on specialised vehicle carriers. The car transporters have sophisticated networks of vehicles transporting between Port Elizabeth and Durban from manufacturers and ports to the interior, and back-hauling vehicles produced inland for export and coastal distribution.

The estimated total tonnage (including the use of stillages, racks, cradles and packaging), moved for the industry is 1.4 million tons per annum for the 880 000 vehicles produced. Of this volume, an estimated 25% (or 350,000 tons p.a.) is transported in KZN.

Advanced Lubricant Technology

Low Friction Engine & Drive Train Lubricants commonly known as synthetic engine oil and synthetic transmission & drive train lubricants, these synthetic products can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 3% by reducing friction between parts. Synthetic lubricants are designed to withstand the extreme pressures of the engine, transmission and drive train better than traditional oils. In addition to increased fuel efficiency, synthetic engine lubricants reduce wear and increase maintenance intervals.

Guide to Hiring Bus Companies

  • the bus company's current USDOT safety rating, if issued, and the date of the company's last compliance review (on-site inspection by motor carrier safety authorities);
  • whether the company is authorized to transport passengers for hire;
  • whether the company has current insurance in force;
  • the company's record of regulatory violations and roadside out-of-service violations, with a comparison to national averages; and
  • the company's highway crash history.
  • Does the driver have a current commercial driver's license (CDL) with a passenger endorsement?
  • Does the driver possess a valid medical certificate?
  • Does the company have a driver drug and alcohol testing program that complies with U.S. DOT regulations?
  • Will your trip be completed within the legal limit of 10 driving hours? If not, will there be a second driver or overnight rest stop scheduled to legally complete the trip?
  • Does the company have its buses inspected annually? By whom?
  • Does the company have the required $5 million of public liability insurance?
  • Does the company subcontract with others for equipment and/or drivers? If so, what is the name of the second bus company and its USDOT number?
  • Does the company have notification procedures for roadside emergencies and breakdowns? Is the driver equipped with a wireless communications device?

Annual statistics of passenger behaviour on board aircraft

The total number of reported incidents of disruptive passenger behaviour on board UK-registered aircraft in 2005-06 fell by 9% compared to the year before. The number of significant incidents also fell although the number of serious incidents rose slightly.

These figures, for the year to the end of March 2006, were published today by the Department for Transport.

The fall in the total number of reported incidents, from 1486 to 1359, is attributed largely to improved and efficient handling of unruly incidents by airlines. In addition, air passengers have a greater awareness of the consequences of disruptive behaviour.

In the same period, compared with 2004-05

- the number of significant incidents fell from 1433 to 1303

- the number of serious incidents increased slightly, by 3 incidents, from 53 to 56.

Aviation Minister Gillian Merron MP said:

"I am pleased with the overall reduction in the number of disruptive incidents. Airlines have worked hard to ensure disruptive incidents are kept to a minimum, and more passengers are aware of the consequences of unruly behaviour.

"It is important to know that these incidents are very rare considering the number of flights each year, but they can cause discomfort, danger and delay for fellow passengers.

"Clearly, more work needs to be done and I will continue to support the airlines and police in their efforts to reduce bad behaviour on aircraft."

The main contributory factors to disruptive behaviour are alcohol and tobacco. Smoking in the aircraft toilet, which is classified as a significant offence by the Civil Aviation Authority, is by far the most common offence, closely followed by alcohol-related incidents. Police or security staff attended around one quarter of the incidents. Offenders can be prosecuted under the Air Navigation Order 2005 and the Aviation Offences Act 2003.

Delivering the goods: Guidance on delivery restrictions published

A concise overview of central and local government policy on road freight delivery restrictions was published today. The guide is designed to be used as a handy ready reference by local authorities, industry and the public.

It is hoped that the guide will inform dialogue between industry and local authorities, and be an accessible resource for local authorities that are considering alternatives to blanket delivery restrictions on existing businesses and new commercial developments.

In most cases, delivery restrictions have been imposed for good reasons, usually to protect the quality of life of the local residents. However, there may be circumstances where the public can still be protected even if delivery curfews are reduced by a couple of hours. Such flexibility has the potential to benefit local people through reduced congestion at peak times and reduced pollution. It could also benefit the industry by making journeys and delivery times more reliable. The guide will address these issues and help local authorities reviewing their commercial freight delivery policies.

Roads Minister Stephen Ladyman said:

"The haulage industry plays a vital role in all our lives, making sure we get the things that we want, when we want them. As new quieter technologies and environmentally friendly working practices develop it is important that industry and local authorities have the most up to date information and advice available to help them make decisions that affect us all".

Better streetworks: permits proposal to keep traffic moving

New proposals for permit schemes which give local highway authorities the power to control when and where their roads are dug up and keep traffic moving has been put to public consultation, Transport Minister Gillian Merron announced today.

Under the scheme, anyone digging up the road would have to seek permission from a local highway authority to begin works. The authority would then issue a permit specifying the duration and in some instances the day and time that the work should take place. The scheme will, for the first time, give local highway authorities oversight over all existing and planned street works in their area. Permits will make it easier to schedule works so that a lot more collaboration can take place - different companies may even use the same hole in the road.

Transport Minister Gillian Merron said:

"I know how frustrating it is for all road users, including pedestrians, when the same stretch of road or pavement is dug up again and again by separate utility companies, causing delays, inconvenience and congestion each time. The consultation I am launching today will give local highway authorities the power to take a more sensible and co-ordinated approach to necessary street works. I hope that authorities use these powers as an effective tool when carrying out their network management duty."

Before the Traffic Management Act 2004, local authorities had much less control over streetworks. Today's announcement is part of a suite of innovations under the Act designed to keep traffic moving.

Fundamental change for better bus services - Alexander

A raft of new proposals that mark the most fundamental change in the operation of buses for 20 years were unveiled today by Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander.

"Putting Passengers First" outlines Government proposals to change the way buses are run, strengthening the working partnerships between local authorities and bus companies to attract more passengers in the long term.

The key changes being considered in Putting Passengers First are:

* On greater partnership working between local authorities and operators, making it easier for local authorities to have a say in bus frequency, timetables and fares.
* On punctuality, giving Traffic Commissioners greater powers of enforcement , holding not just operators but for the first time local authorities to account for the performance of local bus services
* On quality contracts (franchising) in the right circumstances making it a realistic option for local authorities to introduce schemes tailored to local needs.
* Allowing local charities and community groups to provide services in areas poorly served by other transport.
* On the environment, making sure that current bus subsidies help to support the Government's environmental objectives.
Douglas Alexander said:

"To many people buses are a lifeline, giving them access to jobs and shops and allowing them to stay in touch with family and friends. But since deregulation some areas have seen a free-for-all, with the needs of passengers being neglected.

In some areas - where local authorities and bus operators work in partnership for the benefit of passengers - the number of people using buses has gone up.

But in too many areas passengers are simply not getting the services they expect, and as a result passenger numbers have declined. By sharing best practice and giving local authorities and operators the tools they need to work effectively together, all passengers, regardless of where they live, should start to enjoy the benefits of top quality bus services."

Consultation on changes to Dartford crossing charges published

A 12 week consultation on the Government's proposals for changes at the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing has been published, Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman confirmed today.

Dr Ladyman said:

"I strongly encourage anyone who would like to express a view on our proposals to use this consultation as their opportunity to do so. A number of possibilities are outlined in it, including whether we should remove charges completely at night and offer discounts to DART Tag users and local residents.

"Without intervention now, traffic levels at the Crossing will continue to grow. That is why I have also already commissioned research into other methods that might be appropriate to alleviate this expected congestion - including the feasibility of a third crossing."

The proposals being consulted upon include discounts for those who pay by an electronic 'Dart-Tag' and pre-pay account and free travel at night (a complete table of charges is available in the Notes to Editors). The Government is also seeking comments on suggestions from local Members of Parliament that discounts be made available for local residents, and comments on proposals for reinvestment of the revenue collected through the charging scheme.

Secure Stations Accreditation Process

Impact of crime on public transport

When people decide whether or not to travel by public transport, they are influenced by a range of factors that they can make a choice or decision about: time, cost, access, frequency etc. But personal security is another important factor that people will consider. In fact, crime and the fear of crime can be the most dissuasive of all.

Considering the number of journeys made on public transport in the UK - some six billion journeys are made by bus, coach or rail each year - actual incidences of crime against other passengers are extremely rare. And this is borne out in a recent survey (see below) whereby two-thirds of respondents felt that the level of security on public transport was either 'good' or 'very good’. London underground

However, the same survey found that 11.5% more journeys would be made on public transport if passengers felt they were more secure.

This is because for many people, their perception of crime on public transport can have as great an impact on travel habits as any actual experience. Indeed, for more vulnerable members of society, it can dissuade them from traveling altogether.

Douglas Alexander announces consultation on smoking restrictions on vessels

Douglas Alexander today launched a consultation on smoking restrictions to be introduced on sea-going and inland waterway vessels operating in UK waters.

Douglas Alexander said:

"The Government announced last year that restrictions on smoking in enclosed workplaces, public places and vehicles would be introduced in England from July. This will save thousands of lives over the next decade by reducing both exposure to hazardous second-hand smoke and overall smoking rates.

"We now intend to introduce similar provisions to provide protection from second-hand smoke for people on vessels operating in UK waters, both at sea and on inland waterways."

The consultation paper asks for comments from stakeholders and others on how the provisions should be introduced and enforced. Among the questions it asks are:

- Should smoke free provisions be applied to all sea-going and inland waterway vessels carrying at least one passenger and to ships which, whilst carrying no passengers, are crewed by seafarers employed under a contract of employment?

- How should the smoke free provisions be enforced, and do you agree that the MCA should be the enforcement authority?

- Is it appropriate that the scale of penalties for offences relating to the smoke free provisions on sea-going and inland waterway vessels should be the same as those under the Health Act in England?

New boatmasters' licence will make waterways safer

A new licensing scheme for boatmen on the river Thames and across the UK will improve safety, Stephen Ladyman, Transport Minister, said today.

The new Boatmasters License (BML) follows three years of discussion with the industry and navigation authorities and will bring UK licences more closely in line with their European counterparts.

The new BML is modular and it will take a minimum of two years to obtain the 'generic' licence. Candidates will have a rigorous study and testing programme on boat-handling, seamanship skills and safety management and training. A further six months local knowledge training must be completed where local circumstances require it, including the Thames.

Boatmen who want to qualify for more specialised operations, including a sea endorsement, will need to undertake further training - up to five and a half years for the full range of skills.

Dr Ladyman, said:

"This new licence will make our waterways safer. Anyone who wants to qualify for the full range of skills currently used by the watermen and lightermen would need to train for nearly five years. However, this system is more flexible and will allow new entrants to acquire the basic skills in a shorter time if they pass the stringent examinations. Fully-qualified boatmen will have at least the same level of knowledge and skills as they do now."

"They will also have to undertake follow-up examinations on their local knowledge every five years which is not a current requirement."

"The new regime is consistent with the recommendation made by Lord Justice Clark in his report on the Thames Safety Inquiry where he identified a gap in existing national regulation which allowed freight vessels to be operated without a qualified master. In 2003, the Freight Study Group also recommended the introduction of a national licensing regime for freight operations. The other advantage of the system means that it is consistent with the rest of the EU allowing our boatmen to work in other member states."

Car Sharing

Car sharing is when two or more people travel together instead of in separate cars. They may pool their cars and alternate between them, or regularly use a single car and contribute to the costs. The aim is to reduce the number of cars on the road being used to transport a single person. In this way car sharing can help to reduce congestion and consequently improve traffic flow and journey times during peak travel hours. Car sharing can provide a real solution where there is a lack of public transport in rural areas.

Register at Joining the scheme will enable you to simply and securely find others traveling in the same direction so you can arrange to share a car. Registration is free and the scheme can be used to find car share partners for regular commuting trips as well as for occasional leisure journeys such as to football matches or clubs. 'Do your bit' and this will help to cut your travel costs as well as making it easier to park, and reduce congestion and air pollution.

Community rail - new life for local lines

The rail line between Barton-on-Humber and Ulceby North Junction and the service onto Cleethorpes have been designated as a community rail line, Rail Minister Tom Harris announced today.

The designated line and service allows for a more flexible approach to be adopted by the train operating company (Northern) working alongside the local community rail partnership. This enables them to manage the service with greater emphasis on meeting local needs. Together they will continue to look for ways to increase patronage and improve the service.

Transport Minister Tom Harris said:

"Designation of the Barton on Humber branch as a community rail line is good news for passengers. It will ensure that management look to meet local needs at an affordable price, encouraging involvement from local stakeholders."

Heidi Mottram, Managing Director, Northern Rail said:

"Northern welcomes the designation of the Barton-upon-Humber Line as a community rail route. This line plays an important role in the area and helps ensure the vitality of Barton itself as a market town. Designation will assist in identifying innovative ways of developing this line to the benefit of local people and visitors to the area. The community rail partnership for the line is already doing a great job and this will enable it to go from strength to strength."

Dave Walford, Rail Development Officer, Community Rail Humber said:

"This is excellent news for this railway route and the communities in Northern Lincolnshire.Since we set up the Community Rail Partnership, just over a year ago; we have been working with the DfT-Rail and the train operators, (Northern Rail), to promote the services along this line. Formal designation may enable us to customise many aspects of the services to suit the needs of local people and businesses. It could have a major positive effect on the economy of the region, along with environmental benefits, while helping to run a more cost effective railway."