THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: According to a recent Supreme Court rule under Section 52 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, modifications on any model of cars and bikes are considered illegal. However, despite repeated instructions from the Motor Vehicle Department, it was found that two and four-wheeler owners were still violating the rule. To check illegal modifications on vehicles, the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department has started 'Freaken' drive which is followed by all the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs).
This decision was taken by the MVD following the strict action taken against vehicle owners of modified vehicles in other states. In the past weekend, the RT officers had served notices to 34 vehicle owners of cars and bikes in the city who had altered their vehicles. MVD is conducting the drive in other districts also and many cases of illegal modifications have been reported.
In Kochi, notices have been served to 65 vehicle owners of cars, SUVs and bikes. Among the vehicles seized was a modified Mahindra Bolero, an SUV which was modified in New Delhi and had additional lights and a powerful silencer.
Owing to regular complaints of the high intensity of headlights used in vehicles blurring the vision of the oncoming drivers, the Kerala MVD had deployed lux meters, light intensity measurement devices to track such violators. Using the lux meters, the MVD officials reported 45 cases of such violators in the state who were charged with a fine.
In Thiruvananthapuram, 17 cases of using high intensity lights were reported in the past one week. But no actions were taken against vehicle owners for illegal modifications earlier.
“This initiative will be extended and increased in the coming days. We have already given direction to the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) in all the districts and the officials have already started checking for illegal modifications. In case of violations, the vehicle owners will be charged with a fine or their registration certificates will be cancelled,” said V Suresh Kumar, joint transport commissioner, enforcement.
This drive is being undertaken by the MVD following the reports from public where they came across modified vehicles emitting loud sounds and causing much disturbance to the locals.Alterations ranging from modified exhausts changing the decibel level to transforming the colour of vehicle, size of the tyre are all considered illegal.
“We are checking for illegal modifications and in case of alterations we are taking strict action against the offenders. If the offence is repeated, the vehicles are seized. Most of the time vehicle owners make excuses such that the vehicle being featured by the companies themselves,” said an enforcement RTO official.