Hyderabad: Flaunting some muscle on your vehicle with flashy crash guards or tough looking bull bars could soon start attracting penalties, apart from orders to get them removed.
Following the December 7 notification from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways banning crash guards and bull bars on vehicles, the State Transport Department is likely to launch a drive soon to remove all such automobile fittings.
The fitting of crash guards and bull bars, according to the Centre, is in contravention of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and attracts penalty under Section 190 and Section 191 of the Act.
While people install crash guards, mostly on the bumper to protect the front portion of the vehicle, the radiator and sometimes headlights, to protect their vehicle from damage, the same could turn out to be dangerous for pedestrians and bikers, officials say.
For many, crash guards and bull bars are also just ornamental vehicle accessories, they point out, adding that many use them just because they are afraid of others damaging their vehicles. These fittings could also be dangerous for pedestrians, they say.
“Unfortunately, bull bars have gone unnoticed for decades and have possibly caused or are likely to cause damage to road users. The initiative must start with all government vehicles before fines are imposed on public,” said Malcolm Wolfe, president of NGO Road Kraft. “As of now, we do not have any conclusive proof of crash guards causing deaths of pedestrians. However, it is common sense that an impact with a rigid configuration will cause more damage than those materials which can absorb some of the impact,” Wolfe added.
C Ramesh, Joint Transport Commissioner (Vigilance), said the department had discussed the issue of unauthorised fitting of crash guards on vehicles, with all the district transport officers and would come up with a drive to remove such accessories soon.
What the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 says:
Section 52: No owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those originally specified by the manufacturer.
Section 190 (2) of MV Act, 1988: Any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle, which violates the standards prescribed in relation to road safety, control of noise and air-pollution, shall be punishable for the first offence with a fine of Rs 1,000 and for any second or subsequent offence with a fine of Rs 2,000.
Section 191: Whoever being an importer of or dealer in motor vehicles, sells or delivers or offers to sell or deliver a motor vehicle or trailer in such condition that the use thereof in a public place would be in contravention of Chapter VII or any rule made thereunder or alters the motor vehicle or trailer so as to render its conditions such that its use in a public place would be in contravention of Chapter VII or any rule made thereunder shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000.