Government of India bans use of red beacons on VIP vehicles

ImageFile India stops VIPs from using red sirens

On the other hand, emergency vehicles, like ambulance, can continue to use red or blue beacons.

"It's a huge democratic decision", Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

"From May 1 no one in the country would be able to have red beacons atop official vehicles".

"We have chose to remove the clause from the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, that gave the Centre and states the power to decide who should be allowed to display red beacons".

Recently the governments of Punjab and UP state banned the use of red beacon on all vehicles barring those belonging to high ranks in the government sector.

The decision comes into effect from May 1, 2017.

The Government has taken the decision with a view to strengthening "healthy democratic values" in the country. Where will we park our cars if they don't have a beacon? Beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerned with emergency and relief services, ambulance, fire service etc.

On a query about the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the Minister said the case has been going on for so many years and there is nothing new in that.

India will ban ministers and senior officials from using red beacons on their cars to speed through traffic.

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In several states, even MLAs blatantly used beacon lights, he said, adding that some of them had the practice of using detachable beacons.

"Rule 108 deals with use of red, white and blue lights on vehicles".

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath went halfway to ban sirens but retained the ultimate status symbol.

Responding to numerous tweets bu netizens who hailed Prime Minister's move, PM Modi said that he was glad that a strong beginning had been made with the decision.

Modi has, at various occasions, called for an end to the VIP culture.

Several other high-ranking government officials, including the district collector, have removed the red beacons from their vehicles.

Modi's politically shrewd move has been widely welcomed, but the main opposition Congress party has taken a dig at the decision.

Back in 2013, the Supreme Court said the use of beacons on cars used by officials are "ridiculous and synonymous with power".

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