Officials to check their misuse by unauthorised persons

Random checks conducted by the traffic police till now on unauthorised use of beacon lights on vehicles would henceforth be regular and intensified.

The Supreme Court coming down hard on the unauthorised use of beacon lights on vehicles and calling for stringent punishment has come as an encouragement for the traffic police.

The Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicle Rule No. 313 gives details of categories of beacon lights and the persons authorised to use them. This rule, however, is observed more in breach, say the traffic police.

During their inspections scores of unauthorised persons were found flaunting beacon lights on vehicles.

“It is surprising to see even joint collector rank officials and zilla parishad chairpersons using beacon lights atop their vehicles. For them it could be a status symbol, but they are forgetting that law is being violated,” a senior police official said.

In fact, the Cyberabad traffic police have in the recent past conducted drives against misuse of beacon lights twice.

Fines imposed

“An order was issued to check vehicles mounted with beacon lights and fines were imposed on violators,” Cyberabad Traffic Police DCP Avinash Mohanty said.

Writing words like “chairman, press, president, so and so committee” etc. on the vehicle number plates too was incorrect, he said.

Rules state that beacon lights should be wrapped with black covers when the authorised persons are not travelling in that particular vehicle.

Still, many drivers were found flashing the beacon lights even when driving alone, Mr. Mohanty pointed out, adding that drivers using sirens too are being booked.

Hyderabad traffic police had taken up a special drive against misuse of beacon lights in December 2010 the last time, but were forced to put it on hold reportedly after directions from the government.

Apparently, the government was flooded with requests from different dignitaries to allow the use of beacon lights on vehicles.

Though different agencies like RTA and the Traffic Police are empowered to enforce the AP Motor Vehicle Rules, it is the General Administration Department (GAD) which should come out with detailed guidelines on the categories of lights and persons authorised to use them.

In the wake of the fresh verdict from the Supreme Court, the GAD has to clarify on the issue, say the police.

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