The high risk with high beams
By Express News Service | Published: 08th August 2012 08:43 AM |
Even as accident deaths continue unabated in the city and state, the authorities are yet to act tough on the unnecessary use of high beams by drivers at night. According to the data available with the Motor Vehicles Department, accidents due to high beams are much higher than those due to drunken driving or being without helmet.
As per Motor Vehicles Department, the use of high beams is illegal under Sec 360(3) r/w177 of Motor Vehicle Act. The Motor Vehicles Department and police can impose a fine if any vehicle is seen needlessly using high beams. But interestingly, when ‘City Express’ checked the data available with the traffic police and Motor Vehicle Dept, not a single person has been fined under this section of MVD Act.
“It is true that no checking is conducted and no one has been booked for usage of high beams on roads. The problem is that a majority of the drivers in the state are unaware of the illegality of high beams, and they never dim their lights even if the vehicles coming from the other side have a problem viewing the road. The modern bikes and cars come with powerful clear lamps and if such high beams are used, the driver coming from the other side cannot see anything on the road. The high beam is the prime reason behind accidents occurring at night,” an official said.
According to the Motor Vehicle Act the high beams should be made dim if one can see a vehicle in front, at a distance of 200 metres.
The drivers having problems can also register their complaint against the driver, by noting the vehicle number.
The highest number of accident cases and deaths in the state was reported during 6 pm and 8 pm.
Last year itself 636 persons lost their lives in 610 accidents during these hours. “If the high beam is used when the sun light has not fully faded, the drivers cannot see anything coming from the opposite direction. During the these hours, the traffic is very high and visibility is very low. This is the prime reason for higher number of accidents at this time,” an official opined.
An inspector at the Motor Vehicles Department said that there were practical difficulties in enforcing the law. “We cannot stand at a particular place and book vehicles that are using high beams. There are difficulties in tracking down the drivers and vehicles which always use high beams. What we could do is wait for the traffic automation system and book the driver using cameras. Though cameras are installed in the city, they are not installed with software to trace the vehicles breaking the high beam rules,” the Motor Vehicles Department said.