Basic Traffic Rules (For Drivers) In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Travel Guide

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You must be planning to visit Sri Lanka and travel all over the country at your own pace. Rent a car in Sri Lanka will be the best option especially if all your destinations include off the beaten paths.

To have the best travel experience with your rental vehicle, you must at least have a basic knowledge of traffic rules in Sri Lanka. We hope this guide will help you to have the basic Sri Lanka traffic rules and signs.

Basic Sri Lankan Traffic Rules For Drivers

01. Driving on the left

  • Drivers and cyclists must keep to the left, while pedestrians should keep to the right side of the road.

02. Use of seatbelts

  • Driver and the adjacent passenger to him/her at the the front of the vehicle must wear a seatbelt when driving on the road.

03. Speed limit

  • Maximum speed limits for vehicles are shown on traffic signs and road markings. You must drive safely within the specified speed limits. When there are no signs or markings indicating the speed limit, drivers of regular-sized automobiles must obey the general speed limits.
    • The speed limit in urban areas is 0-50kmph
    • The speed limit in rural areas is 0-70kmph (This limit is depend on the area. So make sure pay close attention to the given limit by the side of a road)
    • The speed limit in a highway is 80-100kmph (If you are not in between the given speed limit in a highway you’ll be fined when you exit the highway.

04. No alcohol

  • You must not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you were cought you’ll be severely punished by the Sri Lanka Mortor Traffic Law.

05. No cell phone

  • You must not use a cell phone or be distracted by the car navigation system while driving your vehicle.
  • If you need to use your mobile phone we advise you to stop your vehicle by the side of the rode before using your mobile phone.

06. Road signs

  • You must always follow the road signs accordingly. Failed to do so may harm you or your vehicle or pedestrians or third party. In the worst-case scenario, above all or some of them together may happen.

Examples of road signs in Sri Lanka

07. Traffic lights

  • A red light always means “stop”. If the light facing you is red, stop and wait for it to turn green.
  • If both red & yellow means get ready to go forward.
  • A yellow means slow down and get ready to stop the vehicle.
  • Flashing yellow light means you must slow down and proceed with cautious.
  • A green light means you are good to go.
  • Follow the green arrow.
    • If the light facing you is red, you must stop and wait for a green light. However, if you have a green arrow, you can turn only in the direction indicated by the arrow.
  • If both traffic lights & traffic police at present, you must follow the signs given by the police officer.

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