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India Finally Shows Red To ‘Lal Batti’ Culture; Ban To Be Effective From May 1 [Read Notification]

In a welcome move, the Central Government seems to be all set to abolish ‘Lal Batti’ culture. The government on Wednesday notified draft rules for abolishing red beacons.

The ban is supposed to be effective from May 1, and it does not exempt even vehicles of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

Deletions

These Sub-Rules of Rule 108 are to be deleted:

  • (1 ) (iii) No motor vehicle shall show a red light to the front or light other than red to rear: Provided that the provisions of this rule shall not apply to—a vehicle carrying high dignitaries as specified by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, from time to time;
  • 1 (v) No motor vehicle shall show a red light to the front or light other than red to rear: Provided that the provisions of this rule shall not apply to—to a vehicle having a lamp fitted with an electrical bulb, if the power of the bulb does not exceed seven watts and the lamp is fitted with frosted glass or any other material which has the effect of diffusing the light;
  • (2) Use of blue light with flasher shall be determined and notified by the State Governments at their discretion.
  • (3) Use of blue light with or without flasher shall be permitted as top light on vehicles escorting high dignitaries entitled to the use of red light
  • 5) The State Government shall inform the Central Government regarding publication of notifications issued by the concerned State Government under sub-rule (2) and under clause (e) of the Notification No. S.O. 52(E), dated 11th January, 2002, published in the 243 Substituted by G.S.R. 400(E), dated 31-5-2002 (w.e.f. 31-5-2002). 94 Gazette of India, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, regarding use of red light on top of vehicle being used by dignitaries.
  • (6) In case vehicle is not carrying dignitaries, red or blue light, as the case may be, light shall not be used and be covered by black cover.

This would mean that the rule prohibiting red beacons will also be applicable to vehicles carrying high dignitaries as specified by the Central Government or the state government.  The power of state government to determine use of blue light with flasher will also be abolished.

Modifications

Clause ii in Sub-Rule 1 has been modified as  “i) the amber light, if displayed by any direction indicator or top light or as top light used on vehicle for operating within the premises like airports, ports, mines and project sites without going outside the said premises on to public roads;” (Changes boldened)

Sub Rule (4) now reads as “Use of multi-coloured red, blue and white light shall be permitted only on vehicles specifically designated for such emergency and disaster management duties as may be specified by the Central Government.”

Use of multi-coloured red, blue and white light will be permitted only on vehicles specifically designated for such emergency and disaster management duties as may be specified by the Central government. The state government will be no longer be able to specify use of beacons for emergency.

Judges give up red beacon

Meanwhile, judges of the Delhi High Court on Thursday voluntarily gave up the red beacon on their official vehicles, sources close to the Delhi High Court Registry confirmed.

All vehicles, including constitutional appointees, were required to give up their red beacons before May 1. Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice S Muralidhar have never used a red beacon since the beginning, nor have ever taken Personal Security Officers (PSOs), to which they are entitled.

Some states like Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh had already prohibited the use of red beacons.

Read the Notifications here.

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