The Uttar Pradesh transport department has said that not using seatbelts and using pressure horns, both of which are violations of the Motor Vehicles Act, is mandatory in government vehicles. The order to this effect issued by the UP additional transport commissioner said that enforcement teams in their respective areas must initiate action against anyone found not wearing seatbelts while sitting next to the driver in government vehicles.
A special checking drive against such vehicles was to be conducted on January 12. However, as the day fell during the transport department’s weeklong road safety drive that began on Monday, no checking of government vehicles could be done for seatbelt and pressure horn violations as the staff were busy with the drive.
“We intercepted five government vehicles, but no offence was found,” said Rajesh Singh, assistant regional transport officer (ARTO), in charge, enforcement.
The transport department’s order comes after a meeting of senior state officials headed by the chief secretary on December 27. The meeting took a serious view of violations by government vehicles. The officials also decided that making “special adverse entry” (in the service book/confidential report) against the controlling officer of the official using the government vehicle in which such violations are found to be conducted can be contemplated.
“It is a moot question whether enforcement wing officials in the transport department will take action against an offence committed by senior government officials,” said a transport department official.
There are around 2.5 lakh cars registered with the Noida transport department, of which only 150 vehicles are that of the government.
“There are people who misuse government vehicles and bring a bad name to the department. We are trying to improve the system. Seatbelt is a safety measure and pressure horns are essential only in some vehicles that provide emergency services,” said Rachna Yaduvanshi, ARTO, Noida transport.
The order clearly asks for action against government vehicles using pressure horns. These horns are only allowed in essential services vehicles such as ambulance, fire, transport, traffic etc. Any other vehicle using pressure horns violates the Motor Vehicle Act and causes inconvenience to pedestrians, cyclists and others. The order also mentions that the headquarters received several complaints of people disturbed by use of pressure horns in government vehicles.
“We will launch a drive in this regard soon, but before that we will issue advisory to government vehicles registered with the department. If we find people using pressure horns and not wearing seatbelts in government vehicles, we will take action as per law,” said the ARTO.