The Punjab government on Saturday issued a notification prohibiting the use of red beacons on all vehicles, except certain exempted categories, thus taking a major step towards elimination of VIP culture in the state, as promised in the Congress manifesto.
The notification, issued by the transport department under Rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, supersedes all previous notifications on the use of red and other coloured beacons, said an official spokesperson.
As per the notification, red light with flasher can now be used only by a few categories of high dignitaries, including the state governor, the chief justice and judges of Punjab and Haryana high court.
Besides, four vehicles of general administration (protocol branch) will be authorised to use red light with flasher for visiting dignitaries who have been authorised use of red light by the Centre or their respective states or union territories. Escort vehicles travelling with all these authorised vehicles can use blue light with flasher.
However, the notification specifies that in case a vehicle is not carrying the dignitary, or the dignitary is not on duty, the red or blue light, as the case may be, will not be used and will be shielded by a black cover.
The other category of exempt vehicles related to those on emergency duty, including ambulances, disaster recovery, police or fire service vehicles, with their category painted prominently in 12-inch letters. These vehicles can use different lights, as applicable and as specified in the notification.