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Traffic Police gives deadline to car owners with extra headlights

In view of rising cases of accidents involving blinding light coming from aftermarket High-Intensity Discharge (HIDs) lamps, Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) of Kerala has decided to launch a crackdown against such vehicles.

January 31, 2019 has been set as the deadline, beyond which action will be taken against vehicle owners who continue to use aftermarket HIDs. A public notice regarding this has already been issued and vehicle owners are being asked to remove aftermarket HIDs from their vehicles by January 31.

Modified Mahindra Thar. Image for reference.

Those who do not remove aftermarket HIDs will be first issued a show-cause notice. If they still fail to remove the HID lamps, the transport department will take strict action such as cancelling the registration certificate and driver’s driving licence. Traffic Commissioner of Kerala, K Padmakumar, said that blinding light coming from such headlights has caused various accidents, which is why taking strict action has become necessary. Mr Padmakumar has directed RTOs and all deputy transport commissioners to take strict against non-compliant vehicle owners.

The order to ban aftermarket HIDs in Kerala had come earlier than the recent Supreme Court ruling that has declared all vehicle modifications as illegal. Supreme Court order has sparked protests from owners of modified cars and two-wheelers and there could be a similar reaction to the ban on aftermarket HIDs.

100W HID lamps with 82,000 Lumens fitted on a SUV

The problem with aftermarket HIDs is that these are often not properly set up, which blinds people in the opposite lane. Car manufacturers also use HIDs, but these are properly installed and come with projector lamps to focus on the road and not on the opposite lane traffic.

For the planned crackdown, lux meters have been provided to officials to measure the intensity of light coming from a vehicle’s headlamps. Officials have also been given proper training to take accurate readings. officials will be conducting special drives at night to catch drivers flouting the rules.

Action will also be taken against vehicles that have auxiliary lamps installed on the bonnet. These are illegal and cannot be used on public roads. They can only be used for off-roading purposes. When on public roads, these are supposed to be covered. After Kerala, it is expected that other states will also take action against vehicles with aftermarket HIDs.

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