Kochi

Colour code for contract carriage vehicles welcomed

Safety concerns as many buses sport flashy colours, images

The State Transport Authority’s (STA) decision to usher in a uniform colour code for contract carriage vehicles from March 1 has largely been welcomed, considering the levels to which many bus operators went to woo commuters at the cost of safety.

The government intervention came in the wake of most buses exhibiting flashy colours and graphics with larger-than-life images of film actors or sportspersons.

The High Court of Kerala too had ordered a clampdown on such images and wordings on body and glasses of vehicles in October 2019.

New norms

The STA has mandated that all newly-registered buses sport white colour with a violet and metallic-gold ribbon running through the body. The vehicle’s name, if any, may be painted on the top front side in normal font, with the size not exceeding 12 inches. The operator’s name and other details may be painted on the rear side. The colour code will take effect from the time of renewing certificate of fitness, for older vehicles.

“It will bring about uniformity for all contract-carriage vehicles, just like for city-permit, mofussil and long-distance buses. Many operators used to opt for flashy shades and images, without seeking the mandatory permission from the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) and entering the same in registration certificate,” said Titus Etturuthil, who operates a fleet of contract carriage buses. On the flip side, people would find it difficult to identify their vehicles by name or registration number, when buses or other contract carriage vehicles are parked together at tourist locales or pilgrimage spots, he added.

A senior MVD official said the STA was forced to issue the guidelines since many tourist buses and vans were flouting safety norms, by opting for flashy colours and names to woo the youth. “They also flaunted very flashy lights [including psychedelic ones] on the exterior and interior and installed high-decibel audio systems, diverting the attention of other road users, often causing accidents.”

While welcoming the new guidelines, another MVD official said operators should be given some leeway so that their vehicles stood out from the crowd. Simultaneously, rule enforcement must be stepped up, so that they do not opt for unhealthy practices. “It goes without saying that bus operators invited this action by their unruly conduct,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 1:58:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/colour-code-for-contract-carriage-vehicles-welcomed/article30907907.ece

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