Chandigarh Traffic Police and the UT Transport Department will soon start an awareness drive against the use of crash guards or bull bars on cars, which is in “contravention of Central Motor Vehicle Rules”. Terming it as an “unauthorised fitment” and “contravention of Central Motor Vehicle Rules”, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has banned the use of crash guards or bull bars on vehicles across the country. Even their sale has been banned since December 7, 2017.
After the awareness campaign to sensitise the motorists and sellers about the ban, the Chandigarh traffic police will start a drive to penalise the violators. Calling such fitments a violation of Section 52 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, in its letter addressed to the principal secretaries/secretaries (transport) of all the states and Union Territories, the MORTH had asked the concerned department to take action against the violators.
It added that the violation attracts a penalty of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for the second or subsequent offences. The fine for people selling such unauthorised fitment can be up to Rs 5,000. A senior Chandigarh traffic police officer, said a month has already gone by since the order has been passed.
“These decisions take time to trickle down to the public and the authorities. We will soon start awareness drives so that more people are informed about the ban. Similar action will be taken to notify sellers too. We will also ensure that violators are dealt with strictly and manufacturers remove this accessory before sale,” said the officer.
Across the city, the unauthorised crash guards or bull bars are seen fitted on a large number of four-wheelers, particularly Sports Utility Vehicles. A large number of motor vehicle accessories shops in Motor Market, Manimajra, Sector 27, 28 and 48 are selling such fitments at a price varying from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 depending on the make and quality of the crash guards or bull bars. A large number of online shopping portals also sell the unauthorised fitments.
“According to the road-safety experts, fitting of a crash guard or bull bar on the vehicle hampers the usage of airbags at the time of a crash. The ministry is also of the view that such fitments can cause severe damage to the chassis of the vehicle and prevent its crumple zone from functioning properly. This may lead to serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle and also cause grievous injury or even death of the pedestrians or two-wheeler riders in case of even minor crashes,” said a senior UT Transport Department officer.
Traffic police officers said that removing crash guards or bull bars shall be part of their traffic rules awareness campaign, besides educating the motorists not to unnecessarily blow horns, about lane driving, follow speed limits and discouraging them from installing pressure horns or modified silencers on their vehicles.