Cops go all out against ‘glaring’ headlights 

Since July 1, they have booked about 4,000 vehicles in Bengaluru for using high beam LED lights.
Last Updated : 09 July 2024, 23:37 IST

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Bengaluru: Close to 4,000 vehicles have been booked for violating headlight regulations in Bengaluru since July 1. 

The police have launched a statewide campaign to stop use of harsh lights.

“We are booking vehicles with LED headlights that are glaring and have a dazzling effect on the eye,” explains Alok Kumar, additional director general of police (traffic and road safety), Karnataka.

Almost all vehicles now come fitted with LED lamps. Some vehicle users go in for additional LED lamps as accessories.

Across the state, about 8,000 vehicles have been booked in a little over a week. 

In a memo issued last month, Alok Kumar said a large number of cars and heavy motor vehicles such as lorries, trucks, and buses have been using “dazzling and glaring LED headlights”.

The drive was introduced, police say, to bring down the chance of road accidents, especially at night. “We cannot say with certainty that high-beam headlights are causing accidents because that is not recorded as a reason. However, it may be a possibility,” he later said.

What the law says

While the cops have not put out a list of the exact specifications of the headlights considered permissible, the Central Motor Vehicles Act has some answers. 

Rule 106 states that headlamps should be “so constructed, fitted and maintained that the beam of light emitted therefrom — is permanently deflected downwards to such an extent that it is not capable of dazzling any person whose eye position is — at a distance of 8 metres from the front of lamp, at a distance of 0.5 metre to the right side of the lamps, i.e., fitted at the right extreme of the vehicle, from the right edge of the lamp, and at a height of 1.5 metres from the supporting plane of the vehicle”. 

It adds that such lights should be “capable of being deflected downwards by the driver in such a manner as to render it incapable of dazzling” other drivers. It should also be “capable of being extinguished by the operation of a device… to render it incapable of dazzling any person”. 

Rule 138, sub-rule 5, specifies that halogen bulbs with P45t cap (a kind of bulb) should not be used for headlights. The wattage of the halogen bulbs “shall not exceed 70/75 watts for 24 volts and 60/65 for 12 volts systems.”

Be responsible

Though the police are not measuring the specifications, they are stopping vehicles with ‘glaring’ headlights. “Cars that are being stopped are mainly those using high beam lights unnecessarily. It is important to be responsible and dip your lights when you are driving within city limits or when it is not needed,” explains a representative of a lighting specialist based in Domlur. His business has not been affected by the crackdown, he says. He adds that standard LED lamps are way below the ‘prescribed 9,000 lumens’. According to a salesman at a store in Koramangala, warm LED lights of up to 110 watts are acceptable. “It is white LED lights that are a disturbance to other drivers,” he explains. 

Published 09 July 2024, 23:37 IST

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