in the USSR, a normative document that establishes traffic rules.
The Road Traffic Rules are compulsory for all participants in road traffic, including drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. The regulations apply not only to streets and roads but also to all places where traffic is possible—on forest and unpaved roads, ice crossings, fields (for example, in agricultural work), and enclosed areas (motor pools, plants, and factories). They may not be contradicted by other normative documents concerned with the shipment of special freight and the operation of certain types of transport equipment—for example, the technical operation rules for certain forms of transportation and instructions and orders from ministries and departments concerning the operation of motor vehicles.
The Road Traffic Rules promote safe, fast traffic. They establish the meaning of the signals of traffic lights and traffic controllers, road signs, and road markings and describe the movements of participants in road traffic in the most typical conditions and situations. The rules regulate the positioning of vehicles on the roadway, the changing of position, passing, stopping, parking, and traversing intersections and railroad crossings. They also establish speed limits for populated areas. An important part of the traffic rules is the list of requirements that vehicles in operation must meet. The law provides for criminal prosecution, fines, or disciplinary measures when the regulations are violated, depending on the nature of the violation and its consequences. Special measures of social influence may also be applied.
The first traffic rules after the October Revolution of 1917, On Vehicle Traffic in the City of Moscow and Its Environs (Rules), were ratified in 1920 by a decree signed by V. I. Lenin. Until 1940 traffic regulations were developed and ratified by local governmental agencies, such as city, oblast, and krai Soviets of workers’ deputies. There were unnecessary differences in the rules, and they were in large part oriented to draft animal transport. In 1940 the first model rules in the USSR were ratified to serve as a basis for the development of local rules. Even greater uniformity became possible after ratification of the model traffic rules of 1957, which eliminated many restrictions. From 1957 to 1959 republic road traffic rules were put into effect in most of the Union republics on the basis of the model rules.
In 1959 the USSR joined the international traffic convention and protocol on highway signs and signals adopted in 1949 at a UN conference on road and vehicle transport. Taking into account the international documents, the first standard road traffic rules for the entire USSR were introduced (with amplifications and refinements) on Jan. 1, 1961. In January 1965 the Traffic Rules for the Streets of Cities and Populated Areas and the Roads of the USSR were introduced. The Road Transport Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, with USSR participation, worked out two new international agreements—a convention on traffic and a convention on highway signs and signals. They were adopted at a UN conference in Vienna in 1968. The latest domestic and international experience in motor vehicle transportation and road traffic was reflected in the road traffic rules that went into effect on Jan. 1, 1973.
REFERENCEPravila dorozhnogo dvizheniia. Moscow, 1974.
V. V. LUK’IANOV
Just as everything and every institution require a set of I rules, traffic also needs rules in order to remain orderly I and disciplined. The question that next arises in our minds is that, what is the necessity of rules?
It is necessary to have rules everywhere in order to make the functioning smooth and efficient. If there were to be no rules then, it would be a picture of total chaos and confusion. Rules regulate the work and help it move along the desired path.
Thus, in order to have a smooth movement of traffic on the roads, the traffic rules are made by the traffic police. These rules are meant to be followed to the last word by each and every individual moving on the roads, and becoming a part of the traffic.
It is necessary to have rules for the road, but it is still more important for all of us to follow the set of rules. Once an individual is on the road, it is absolutely compulsory for him/her to follow the rules, and that also explicitly.
We have just got to follow rules because, without following them there will be absolute chaos and confusion on the road, and no one will be able to move about. This chaos would lead not only to delays in movements but would also lead to struggles and even accidents.
When, for example we are supposed to cross the road from the zebra crossing, we must make sure that we do so, for, if we cross from elsewhere, there is a chance that we meet with an accident. If we jump a red light we are putting ourselves to danger and are inviting trouble with the possibility of an accident.
Thus, rules must be followed for maintaining discipline on the roads, and above all for our own safety. It is in our own interest that, when on the road, we follow the road traffic rules to the last word. The rules are there to keep us safe, and following them is in our own interest.
When we break the rules we are inviting trouble to ourselves and doing no harm to any one else.
The traffic rules in India are as strict as they are anywhere else in the world. However, the difference between the rules outside India and the rules in India is basically just one. That is the rules in foreign countries are followed, and here in India they are broken day in and day out.
Besides having more or less the same rules, over here we Indians have an instinct to break all laws and rules. That instinct is so very vivid on the Indian roads. Traffic rules are stringent but, when they are not followed, what is the use.
Besides, another major difference between foreign countries and Indians in this matter is, when a person in a foreign land breaks any traffic rule, he is punished according to the set rules. Here in India, the punishment is also there but, no one gets punished for flouting the road rules.
When rules are there and are broken with impunity and no one can do anything about it, there is utter confusion. That is the exact situation in India. The roads of at least the Metros look like racing tracks, with cars and other vehicles just rushing to where - God alone knows.
There is a speed limit for different categories of vehicles but, who follows the norms? Thus, in India, rules are the same and as stringent as elsewhere but there, in other countries the rules are strictly followed but in India they are strictly broken.
This is the basic difference in the traffic rules and the following of them. A road for instance in Delhi looks a motley picture of confusion and chaos, and this, because everyone is making the road a racing track instead of using it as a road.
Traffic in other countries appears to be more disciplined because these rules are followed and here in India they are not followed. This is exactly why rules are made, and they are made to be followed, and not to be broken as in India.