Police vehicles can flash amber beacons instead of the existing blue ones and Mumbai mayor’s vehicle can now have red beacon on her car.
Transport minister Diwakar Raote said the government has amended the rules for use of beacons, taking various demands into consideration, and also extended the list of posts that would be entitled to use red and amber beacons on their cars. Earlier, the state had made rules for use of red and amber beacons, taking the Apex court directives into consideration.
Raote said it will be mandatory for every vehicle with a beacon to have an RFID sticker. “If any vehicle with a beacon does not have the sticker on the windscreen, criminal offence will be filed and the vehicle would be impounded,” he said.
Earlier this year, HT had highlighted how several ministers were illegally using beacons on their personal vehicles and most government vehicles have red-amber beacons without the necessary stickers. HT had also pointed out that red-amber beacons were being used for hired tourist vehicles illegally.
Raote said as it is illegal to put beacons on top of hired vehicles, the government is going to come up with a process for the transport commissioner and RTO offices to issue the stickers. Officials from transport commissioner office, however, said they are yet unaware of such rules.
Until now, police vehicles and cars of other enforcement authorities such as RTO, excise and forest department were entitled to use blue beacons without a flasher.
According to transport minister, the departments complained that blue beacons were not clearly visible from a distance. Fire brigade vehicles would be entitled to use red beacons with flashers, while sub-regional magistrates and tehsil magistrates can use amber beacons with a flasher instead of blue, but only in their jurisdiction.
He said the mayor can use the red beacon without a flasher, as several dignitaries visit the city, where the mayor is next in position to the governor and chief minister. Mayor Snehal Ambekar has been continuously demanding the mayor be allowed to use red beacon on the official vehicle, as was the case earlier. Significantly, both Raote and Ambekar belong to the same party, the Shiv Sena.
The government also extended the list of posts entitled to use amber beacons with flashers, instead of without flashers. The list includes additional chief secretaries of the state, principal secretaries, chairman of zilla parishad, director general of police, mayors of A and B category of mayors, municipal commissions and regional commissioners.
Raote said the rules amended considering the apex court directives and he also appealed about not to use beacons during day time on the government vehicles.