| Police conduct an awareness programme on not using tinted glass on cars at AG Square in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, June 26: Police today launched an awareness drive here to educate people about the Supreme Court ruling on the ban on use of dark films and tinted glasses on four-wheelers.
College students took part in the drive at AG Square and gave away leaflets to people zipping around in cars and SUVs, attracting their attention to discontinue use of dark and tinted glasses and penalty for violating the permissible limit of Visible Light Transmission (VLT) on car windows and windscreens.
Sources in the traffic police department said that around 50,000 four-wheelers in the capital city used dark films or higher percentage of tint on the glasses of their cars. “Moreover, nearly 10,000 vehicles from outside ply on the city roads everyday,” a traffic cop said.
Apart from AG Square, six other traffic intersections — Power House Square, Nalco Square, Rupali Square, CRP Square, Kalinga Stadium Square and Nicco Park Square — would be primarily covered in the drive. “The drive would be conducted on a rotation basis at the junctions barring AG and Nalco squares, which are zero-tolerance zones,” the cop said.
A senior police official said according to Section 100 (2) of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, using dark, black and reflective glasses in vehicles was not permitted. However, vehicle manufacturers or car owners often flout the norm. Even the law enforcement agencies are not enforcing it strictly though the act contains penalty provisions for violation. The Supreme Court’s April 27 order called for enforcing the act throughout the country from May 4 onwards. A two-member bench of the apex court, consisting of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justice A.K. Pattnaik, gave the verdict. It reads: “We prohibit the use of black film of any VLT percentage or any other material upon the safety glasses, windscreens and side glasses of all vehicles throughout the country.”
The bench had instructed the home secretaries and director-general or commissioner of police of the states to ensure compliance with the order. “We were not able to launch the drive because of certain constraints. But now, we are removing the black films on glasses of the four-wheelers,” said Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police Nitinjeet Singh.
Singh said the awareness drive would continue for four to five days, which would be followed by peeling off the dark films from vehicles. “The next step would be to penalise those violating the norms,” he said, adding that the fine amount was Rs 500 under the Orissa Urban Police Act.
The rule allows vehicle owners to use glasses with VLT specification of minimum 70 per cent for the front and rear window screen and 50 per cent for the side windows. The front wind screen glass should made of laminated safety glass, so that the glass pieces would not scatter around in case of an accident.
Though the apex court had said the ban would not apply to people against whom there was threat perception, Singh said none would be exempt from the rule. “If the government wants any person to be exempt from this rule, it would issue a notification. Till then, everybody has to abide by the court’s direction,” he said.
The police said the enforcement would help prevent accidents as the drivers would have better visibility.
Moreover, there are instances of criminals taking shelter behind dark and tinted glasses of cars to commit crimes and escape.