High Court asks KSRTC, KURTC to remove distracting ads from buses

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that action should be taken against the vehicles owned by KSRTC and Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC) for exhibiting advertisements and images causing distraction to the drivers of other vehicles and also cyclists and pedestrians on public roads.

“Since transport vehicles owned and operated by KSRTC and KURTC are regularly plying on National Highways, such vehicles shall not be permitted to exhibit any advertisements which are likely to distract the attention of other drivers. Earning of income by displaying advertisements should not be at the cost of public safety,” observed the court.

Justice Anil K Narendran issued the directive while considering a petition filed by the driver of a KSRTC bus challenging the order suspending his licence after a youth was killed in an accident involving the bus driven by him. The mishap occurred after the youth’s bike rear-ended the parked KSRTC bus in Thrissur.

The petitioner contended that he had taken all safety precautions while parking the vehicle and that, he had also switched on the hazard lights, parking lights, passenger compartment lights and also the light on the destination board.

The court also directed the Transport Commissioner to take necessary steps to ensure that no motor vehicle, including government vehicles, was allowed in any public place after tampering with the percentage of visual transmission of light of the safety glass of the windscreen, rear window and side windows, either by pasting any material upon the safety glass or by fixing sliding ‘cloth curtains’, etc.

The court ordered that the safety glass of the windscreen and rear window of every motor vehicle was always maintained in such a condition that the visual transmission of light was not less than 70% and that of the safety glass used for side windows is not less than 50%, as per the mandate of sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

The court also ordered that no motor vehicle shall be allowed to be used in any public place without maintaining the signalling devices, direction indicators, reflectors, reflective tapes, lamps, parking lights, as under Rules 102 to 111 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, in good working condition.

The court also directed that no motor vehicle that carried an object in front of such lighting devices, reflectors, etc., or ‘tinting’ such lighting devices (i.e., headlights, tail lights, etc.) or reflectors by fixing vinyl tint film sticker be permitted to ply.

Besides, the court ordered against permitting vehicles fitted with LED bar lights, LED flexible strip lights, after-market (Non-OEM) halogen driving lamps, etc., to use public roads.

News Source : The New Indian Express, The Hindu.