The High-Beam Menace! 25 Cases Booked on Drivers using High-Beam Headlights
Mangaluru: It has come to a point where many citizens dread riding or driving at night. The reason? Excessive use of high-beam headlights by motorists in the city. Until a few years ago, most vehicles, including four-wheelers, came with headlights that were half-covered with a black strip. This was to ensure that other motorists are not affected by the headlights.
These days, however, most car and two-wheeler manufacturers seem to take pride in including high-beam headlights as one of the key features of their vehicles. With no black strip, the headlights blind the other motorists on the road, making it difficult to see what is ahead. This is a dangerous prospect in the city, as most roads have unscientific speed breakers, raised manholes, potholes and uneven road surfaces. It is high time for the Regional Transport Authority to mandatorily ensure that the headlights of all vehicles are covered with a black strip while prohibiting the usage of high beam lights within the city limits besides imposing a penalty on the violators. It has been a harrowing drive for motorists on the busy streets of Mangaluru while driving or riding at night.
Mangaluru city police have booked 25 cases against vehicles using high-beam headlamps. Mangaluru City police commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain said that special drives against high-beam lights were conducted in the last three days and the traffic wing has booked cases against the violators. “Headlamps with dazzling light pose risk and may cause accidents during night hours”, he added. The commissioner called upon the motorists to adhere to traffic discipline to ensure the safety of all.
ACP Traffic Geetha Kulkarni speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “As per Sec 360(3) r/w 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act, the traffic police can impose a fine if any vehicle is seen needlessly using high beam headlights. High beam headlights need to be used only on such roads where the visibility for driving is low which happens to be mostly in rural, semi-rural and a few poorly lit city roads beside the national highways. We will slap a fine of Rs 500 whenever there is a violation in this regard but we do not have a provision to remove the high beam lights. However, motorists will have to use their common sense not to use high beams or excessive fancy lit lights which put other motorists at risk, causing accidents”.
Why do people drive with high beams during the night? First and foremost, people who do this lack basic road etiquette. When there’s a vehicle approaching, you should have the sense to dip the beam. This will prevent the opposite vehicle from getting blinded and running over you. This is a mutual thing and both vehicles should dip for their safety.
Lastly, one has to blame poor road engineering in India. Roads are unlit, full of surprises, potholes, bulls and whatnot. Some people find the high beam to work well and forget about everything else. These people seldom dip beams. They only do so when you shine a really powerful high beam into their eyes to make them realise the torture they are giving to other vehicles. Then they scramble and dip beams. One might blame external factors, but if your vehicle has its light in good working condition, focused well and with a good pair of bulbs, a low beam is more or less sufficient. A high beam can be used when there are no approaching vehicles or you aren’t tailing another vehicle.
Note: Photos included for Illustration Only