The Union Cabinet has taken a bold step to stop the usage of red beacons from all vehicles including that of Prime Minister. The government has taken this step to eliminate the lal batti culture currently prevailing in the country. The directive won’t be applicable to vehicles of President, Vice President and Chief Justice of India. The decision comes into effect from May 1, 2017. On the other hand, emergency vehicles, like ambulance, can continue to use red or blue beacons.
“In a historic decision, the Cabinet has decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles, barring emergency services vehicles, from May 1,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
Recently the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had banned the usage of red and blue beacons from vehicles. Even UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had warned officials about the misuse of red beacons which are causing huge inconvenience to people.
In December 2013, a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and C Nagappan directed States to amend the Motor Vehicle Rules to restrict the use of the red beacon and impose an exemplary fine on those who misused it. The court order said only constitutional authorities would be allowed to use the red beacon.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said: “A red light can be carried in vehicles of high dignitaries specified by the Central and State government. Now, neither in state or centre the government will be able to nominate any members to use the red beacon. There are no exceptions,” Jaitley said
“However, fire brigade, ambulance services, police vehicles and other emergency services will be permitted to use blue beacon, Jaitley added.