KOCHI: While the use of high-intensity headlights that blind the view of motorists in oncoming vehicles has been banned across India, they are being rampantly used in the district. Moreover, the enforcement wing of Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) in here is yet to get a Lux meter that can measure the intensity of the lights used in the vehicles.
As per the data with the department, 427 cases of using unauthorised headlamps have been registered in the district and 2,574 cases across the state so far this year. With 701 cases, Kottayam has recorded the highest number of cases followed by Kollam with 498 cases. As many as 300 cases have been registered in Kannur and 278 cases in Malappuram. “It is found that several car owners still go for aftermarket headlights that come with 100-200W power.
In factory-built cars and heavy vehicles, the light used is of less than 60W. Use of such high-intensity bulbs adversely affects the visibility of the driver coming from the opposite direction and leads to accidents,” said G Ananthakrishnan, Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement), Ernakulam. Use of illegal headlamps can attract a fine of `5,000 under Section 191 of the Motor Vehicles Act -- for altering the vehicle.
The MVD enforcement unit here is yet to get a Lux meter to detect the intensity of lights used in a vehicle. The meter captures the light and converts it into an electric current which is then used to measure the light’s intensity. “The department has proposed a project under which Lux meters will be procured to detect vehicles using unauthorised lights. The meter can also detect car drivers who frequently use headlamps on bright mode,” Ananthakrishnan said.
Another officer in MVD said lack of awareness is not the reason for the widespread use of unauthorised headlights or switching to bright mode on roads. The law should ban the sale of aftermarket products for vehicles like headlights and exhaust systems violating the traffic rules. “Motorists in Kerala are aware of traffic laws. But most don’t care about the safety of other drivers or pedestrians. When Keralities move to foreign countries, they are careful about the traffic rules there. But in Kerala, a majority of them flout the rules,” an officer said.
Cases of unauthorised headlights