K.T. Sangameswaran

This is found to be one of the reasons for the rising number of accidents

CHENNAI: The State police have booked about 11,000 cases against using dazzling lights in motor vehicles in a sustained drive against Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) violations. This specific violation was noticed during a weeklong check till June 22 on State and National Highways in Tamil Nadu. The police action against violators is continuing, a senior State police officer told The Hindu when contacted.

Concerned over the increasing number of accidents in Tamil Nadu, nearly a month ago the Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi said that the police should take proactive action to prevent accidents and deaths on roads, and restrictions on speed should be strictly enforced. He also made it clear that preventing road mishaps would be an important work of the government.

Following this, the Director-General of Police, D. Mukherjee, instructed officers to enforce effectively the provisions of the MVA.

One reason for the rising number of accidents was dazzling lights.

As per rule 405 of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules (Dazzling light-restriction of) "the driver of a motor vehicle shall at all times when the lights of the motor vehicles are in use so manipulate them that danger or undue inconvenience is not caused to a person by dazzle." However, there is no analysis by police to find out the number of accidents in which the prima facie cause is use of dazzling lights. Besides booking cases, police were also sticking "bull's eye" stickers on lights and educating drivers on the safety aspect.

Police sources say dazzling lights by two vehicles travelling in the opposite direction creates a "dark zone" in between them which may lead to accidents. The impact of accidents was more on the highways.

Over 11,000 cases noticed

As part of the efforts to reduce accidents, a drive was launched on the State and National Highways against various violations and 11,200 cases of use of dazzling lights were noticed.

However, drivers complain that besides highways, the problem caused by the use of strong lights, even on road stretches, which have good illumination, is prevalent in Chennai too.

The worst affected are elderly drivers.