Hyderabad: Blinded by high beams, driver goes to DGP

Deccan Chronicle.  | Coreena Suares

Nation, Current Affairs

Police says no law covers headlamps, it is left to the driver’s courtesy.

GHMC promises better streetlighting to reduce use of high-beam headlamps.

Hyderabad: A petition to the Director General of Police from an annoyed Hyderabadi regarding use of high beams at night has led to many motorists complaining about the same.

The petition reads: “High time people realise and start driving on low beam, especially cab drivers and corporate drivers. All multinational companies should actually take this under CSR activity and educate their drivers who are part of their organisation (sic).”

However, there are no provisions under law for cops to book people driving with high beams on.

The petitioner added, “We have 99 per cent of the commuters who do not know that they are not supposed to drive/ ride with high beam headlights within city limits or any other place with lights. We request the Telangana DGP and additional commissioner of police, traffic, to initially organise an awareness campaign for two weeks or so and then strictly penalise the vehicle users if they are riding with high beam headlights in city limits (sic).”

In August, DC had published reports on the high beam menace.

The petitioner stated, “We have SUVs,  bikes, whose headlights are at a higher distance from ground than other vehicles, which causes literal blindness to the commuters from opposite direction. This menace needs to stop before we lose more lives than we already have. A lot of accidents, especially collision to divider (head-on) happens due to this ignorance of the drivers/riders.”

As the petition was shared by many on social network, one Mr Danam Sardar said, “I hate driving at night, it is a torture to drive past these headlights.”

But a city traffic official said, “The rule of covering half of the headlight was in vogue 15-20 years back,  the norm of stickers covering half of the headlight  has been  dispensed with because the motor vehicle companies for two and four-wheelers have come up with modified lighting systems and the driver  can utilise it according to needs.”

DCP, traffic, A.V. Ranganath said, “Drivers have to learn the purpose of divergent and convergent lights. For highways always use a long beam (divergent) and convergent on city roads. High beams let you see twice as far as low beams. Even in two wheelers, this facility is provided. It is the driver who seems to be sensitised. As per the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988  Section 177, the police is entitled to fine anyone using high beam lights, however the fines are meagre (`100). the Hyderabad traffic department in June  conducted a special drive to sensitive commuters on high beam driving.”

The main reason for many motorists using high-beam headlights is stated to be poor streetlighting. GHMC chief B. Janardhan Reddy had told a meeting on October 1 that streetlights in the city would be restored in three months. This would include the project to instal LED streetlights.

The GHMC had decided to hand over the LED streetlighting project  to Energy Efficiency Servi-ces Limited, a Central government agency, that would be calling for tenders after the state government issues the order. He said the GHMC was attending to complaints of non-functioning streetlights.