Government may allow colour beacons on police vehicles

Mulling proposal as officials complain of problems in patrolling, highway checks

Published: 30th September 2013 10:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2013 10:01 AM   |  A+A-

The State Home Department is considering a proposal to allow the police to use beacons other than red colour once the Supreme Court passes its final judgment on the issue.

“We are waiting for the outcome in the apex court. Then we will decide on the colour of beacons to be used by our police officers on vehicles,” Home Minister K J George told Express.

Recently, a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda, was aghast to find State governments allowing even lower level bureaucrats to use red beacons in contravention of Rule 108(1)(3) of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. The rules provide that “a vehicle carrying high dignitaries as specified by the Central government or the State government, from time to time, or a vehicle escorting such vehicle may use red light at the front.”

In light of this, the department directed all its staff to remove the red beacons immediately except for vehicles of the Chief Minister, Ministers, Governor, Speaker and High Court Judges.

In fact, Karnataka was the first State to strictly comply with the Supreme Court’s observations. Even the vehicle of head of the Karnataka Police does not have a red beacon, a senior official of the department noted.

Practical Problems  in Doing Work

With no red colour beacons on their vehicles, police officers above the rank of inspectors are facing problems in discharging their duties.

The beacons were of great help, especially while during patrolling and checking of vehicles.

In the absence of beacons, people are not able to distinguish between police vehicles and private ones.

“Some officers explained practical difficulties. We will allow them to have beacons other than red colour on their vehicles after the Supreme Court delivers its verdict,” an officer noted.

George said after the apex court’s order, he got the red colour beacons removed from his pilot and escort vehicles and had asked them to have the blue colour beacons used by ambulances.

“Many police officers have told me about their problems while patrolling without the beacons. We will think of allowing our officers to use the alternative colour beacons once the Supreme Court disposes the case. We will abide by the Supreme Court’s order and take a decision in consultation with the Law Department. Even the Chief Secretary has a similar opinion on the issue,” George explained.

When contacted, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the government is ready to make necessary amendments on the use of beacons other than red colour ones.

The Transport Department will issue the circular once the matter is settled in the court, he noted.


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