KOZHIKODE: You may perhaps be knowing that our Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is the most protected VIP in the state. But not many, including the CM himself, may be aware that his safety is at risk while travelling in his official car.
At equal risk are the pedestrians. The culprit: A menacing crash guard fitted in front of ‘Kerala State No 1’ Innova Crysta car. This, despite the Union Government directing the states more than a year ago that such unauthorised fitments be removed from vehicles.
In the event of a collision, the air bags of a car fitted with the crash guard — also known as bull bar — will fail to deploy and secure the occupants from injuries. It will also interfere with vital shock absorption systems designed on the vehicle’s front. Besides, a bullbar-fitted vehicle can fatally injure a pedestrian when compared to one without the fitment, show studies.
It was precisely due to these safety concerns the Centre had asked states in December 2017 to take stern action against unauthorised fitment of crash guards or bullbars in vehicles.
CM’s security officers seem unaware of dangers
Crash guards constitute a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Act prescribes a fine of `1,000 for the driver for the first offence and `2,000 for second or subsequent offences. The penalty for seller of the bullbar can go up to `5,000.
Despite a year after the Centre’s fiat, officers in charge of the CM’s security seem to be unaware of its dangers. Even the Chief Minister’s escort vehicles are fitted with perilous bullbars. Earlier this month, the CM’s pilot vehicle hit a few protesting Congress workers. Luckily, the Tavera car was not fitted with the crash guard or the injuries could have been fatal.
Section 52 of Motor Vehicles Act
Section 52 of the MV act imposes certain conditions on the alteration in any motor vehicle. No alteration would be allowed and vehicle structure should not be in variance with what is originally specified by the manufacturer and contained in the registration certificate.
◆ Can injure pedestrians grievously in case of collision
◆ Does not allow air bag sensors to detect collision and deploy
◆ Can interfere with shock absorption and crumple zones in vehicles