Unauthorised use of blue and red beacons on vehicles has given way to loud horns and sirens, if one goes by the police record. However, most vehicle owners using such VIP beacons use their political connections to get away without being brought to book.
The Gurgaon police have seen a substantial increase in the number of challans or tickets issued against drivers using sirens in vehicles, while challans against vehicles with VIP beacons have gradually come down in the past four years.
However, a traffic police on condition of anonymity claimed that most people, with beacons on their vehicles, use their political clout to get away without paying the fine. Crime data reveals that in 2014, as many as 33 challans were issued against illegal use of red and blue beacons and 43 in 2013. In 2012, the police had issued 44 challans. So far, this year, just 5 such cases have come to light.
ACP (Crime) Rajesh Kumar said, “Revolving- cum- flasher red light can be used only by motor vehicles on emergency duties such as ambulances, fire tenders and PCRs. Police patrol vehicles, pilot vehicles and transport department vehicles can use a blue revolving- cum- flasherlight. Amber-colored revolving or flasher light can be installed on vehicles plying at national or international airports in the Capital.”
"Almost everyone, from politicians to commission heads and even mid-level government officials use beacons. These vehicles often break traffic rules. When stopped, they point to the beacon. Almost no one in Gurgaon seems to understand that a beacon is also a major security risk for the city," the officer added.
On the other hand vehicles blowing loud horns or sirens were challaned in thousands. So, far this year, 106 vehicles have already been challaned. Last year, 5,073 vehicles with loud horns were challaned. The fine for using these horns is Rs. 1,000.
“Under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, a fine between Rs. 100 and Rs. 300 is imposed for violating rules on red/blue beacons. Heavy penalty should be imposed on violators to check the menace," said a traffic officer.
DCP (traffic) Vinod Kaushik said, “We have been given a list of those allowed to use beacons and flashers. But many of these people are so brazen that they confidently let even their relatives use their official vehicles.”
“The penalty is meagre in both the cases therefore violators keep on repeating the act,” said Abhinav Chopra, road safety officer.