Delhi traffic police on Tuesday initiated a special drive in the Capital to crack down on politicians who use red beacons on their vehicles to ‘look important’. On the first day of the drive, the police prosecuted as many as 15 persons, that included one Member of Parliament, two MLAs and a number of zila pramukhs and block presidents.
The traffic police, however, refused to disclose the identities of the offenders. “All the prosecuted persons had installed red-beacons on their private vehicles. We have fined them R100 each and asked them to remove the beacons,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic). “In the initial phase, though we did not impound any vehicle, we will soon start confiscating vehicles fitted with red beacons,” Garg added.
He said that the transport commissioner of a north Indian state was also prosecuted for using a red beacon atop his car. “We will soon write to the concerned transport authority, asking for cancellation of registration certificates of such vehicles,” he said further.
“In Delhi, the problem is mostly with the so-called ‘leaders’. They violate rules and want to get away with it,” said a traffic police officer. “For using red beacons illegally, the registration number of the car can also be cancelled by the transport department,” added the officer.
The illegal use of the red beacon poses a security threat as well, said a senior traffic police officer. On Sunday, two criminals were arrested from the Mongolpuri area in outer Delhi. The duo drove around in luxury cars fitted with police sirens and a red beacon, while committing crimes. The two had thought of this ingenious method to avoid falling into the police net.
Recently, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit had warned of a massive crackdown on city legislators and others who use red beacons in their official cars in violation of rules. “The police must act against anybody who use red beacons in their cars,” Dikshit had said.