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Friday, Apr 04, 2003

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Coimbatore cracks down on road safety violators

R.Y. Narayanan

DOUBLE TROUBLE? A double picture of Simran on the rear screen of a private bus in Coimbatore. While this may improve the vehicle's décor, it poses a threat to the safety of passengers as the driver cannot judge the distance of vehicles behind it.


IN a bid to crack down on flagrant violations of road safety norms, the Coimbatore district administration has decided to wield the stick against those who ignore rules with impunity.

Already, the city police have achieved a fair amount of success in banning the use of air horn, mainly by heavy vehicle users and a stricter enforcement of traffic rules to curb violations like jumping signals is under way in the city.

But the traffic woes in the city have been compounded by the use of high powered halogen lamps in the headlights of vehicles and as the practice of dimming the headlights is virtually non-existent, the motorists face risk getting involved in accidents because of being momentarily blinded.

What is surprising is that people driving vehicles, particularly cars, switch on the halogen lamps even in roads, which have dividers and traffic is uni-directional and where the roads are well lit with sodium vapour lamps!

Some of the vehicle owners have also developed a fancy for fitting coloured lamps along with the headlights or on top of the vehicles posing hazard to motorists coming in the opposite direction.

Though at the time of payment of annual MV tax the vehicle owners have to produce emission control certificates, a good number of vehicles, mostly autos and public transport vehicles, leave a thick cloud of smoke, which pose a serious health hazard.

Another practice noticed, essentially in private and some government buses too, is to cover the rear windscreen of the vehicles with dark sun control films and have fancy pictures drawn on it. While this may be done to give a boost to the décor of the vehicles, it also posed a threat to the safety of the passengers since the heavy vehicle drivers could not see the vehicles coming from behind other than through the small side view mirror in the front.

The Coimbatore District administration has taken a serious view of these violations and is planning to launch a drive from April 16 to enforce the law.

The District Collector, Mr N. Muruganantham, said the use of air horns, high-powered lights in larger number and not meeting emission norms were against the provisions of the MV Act. Similarly playing audio/video systems noisily and obstructing the vision of the vehicle drivers by painting the rear windscreens also violated the rules.

Though the action initiated earlier has brought down the use of air horns, surprise checks have revealed that they continued to be used.

He said with a view to bring an end to these violations of law, the police, transport and pollution control board officials would organise vehicle checks from April 16 and violators would invite serious action.

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