THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Centre recently revising penalties for traffic rule violations, the moot question is whether the offenders can be fully tracked and brought to book in Kerala.
The use of tinted side glasses which has become a common phenomenon in vehicles in the state act as a cover which leaves sleuths guessing. While imposition of penalty for drunken driving and use of mobile phones during driving is common, there is hardly any chance to trace the ‘’invisible’’ offenders even if cops liked to. The use of tinted side glasses with zero visibility which is also an offence had never been checked.
Under Section 100 of Motor Vehicles Act, it is stipulated that the side glasses of vehicles should have 60 per cent visibility.
‘’Yes, there should be transparency in the glasses even if they are tinted. Using tinted glasses with zero visibility is an offence,’’ said Transport Commissioner A Hemachandran. However, in many vehicles the sticking of dark-tinted films on safety glasses leave little chance to see the persons or their activities inside the vehicles.
‘’It is true that it is impossible to trace those who use mobile phones or consume liquor inside the vehicles which have dark-tinted glasses. This seriously hampers enforcement of motor safety rules,’’ said police sources. This issue has assumed added importance especially when the state has been listed as one in the spreading reach of terrorists and fundamentalists.
“There were incidents when the accused of some cases escaped in vehicles using dark-tinted glasses,’’ an officer said. The irony is that there is no dearth of such vehicles even in the Police Department. ‘’Over the years, the police personnel have also changed a lot. That may be the reason they choose to travel in vehicles having dark side glasses. At one time the police force took action to remove the dark films from the glasses. However, the tendency to use tinted films on side glasses resurfaced after a while,’’ former DGP K J Joseph told Express.
Kerala is among the states where the use of tinted glass continues unhindered making a mockery of laws.
It is in this background that the Centre’s order directing tough punishment for offenders will have a big bearing in the state.