'Modified' high-intensity headlights pose threat to road users 

The Supreme Court in 2019 had banned any type of modification to vehicles than those prescribed by the manufacturer.
High-intensity headlights can blind the oncoming vehicles. (Photo | EPS)
High-intensity headlights can blind the oncoming vehicles. (Photo | EPS)

TIRUCHY: The craze of some motorists to modify their vehicles with high-intensity headlamps has turned to be a bane for several others in Tiruchy city. Many continue to use the banned headlights on their two-wheelers though it is a known fact they would blind the view of the oncoming vehicles.

The Supreme Court in 2019 had banned any type of modification to vehicles than those prescribed by the manufacturer. However, motorists continue to fix multi-coloured high-intensity headlamps stating they help in spotting the vehicles better on road.

“The lights fitted by the manufacturers have limited range and they are not very bright. At night, we need brighter lights to spot the vehicles at the earliest. So we change the in-built one with stronger LED bulbs,” said Santhosh, a motorist from the city.

Reportedly, the headlights available in the local markets are anywhere between 80-100 watts, while the manufacturer usually fits headlights which are lesser than 60 watts. “People come seeking lights which are over 100 watts and multi-colored. We advise them about its effects but customers, mostly youngsters, prefer to fit them as it looks stylish on their vehicles,” said a local seller.

“These high-intensity lights is a major light hazard on the roads. On four-lane highways the problem can be managed, as the small plants in the central median diffuse them. But in the city or two-lane roads it is a major problem as they blur the vision completely. These strong lights also reduce the reaction time of the oncoming vehicles at times of mishaps,” said M Sekaran, a member of the Road Safety Council.

Police admit the issue continues to persist despite several crackdowns and awareness programs. “We have conducted several awareness programs regarding it but we are not able to bring a change. The public need to take more responsibility and care about the fellow motorist on the road. We keep imposing fines on the violators, but they continue to persist with them as they have paid hefty amounts for buying these headlamps,” said a senior official.

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