Government proposed to Ban Lal Batti (Red Light) Culture and notified  draft rules for abolishing red beacons. The ban is Proposed to be effective from May 1, and it does not exempt even vehicles of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India. Rule prohibiting red beacons will also be applicable to vehicles carrying high dignitaries as specified by the Central Government or the state government.  The power of state government to determine use of blue light with flasher will also be abolished.

We have produced below the Related Press Release dated 19.04.2017, Proposed Amended Rule 108 and copy of Draft Notification for ready reference of our readers :-

A. Related Press Release Dated 19.04.2017

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

19-April, 2017

The Government decides to do away with beacons for all categories of vehicles

With a view to strengthening healthy democratic values in the country, the Central Government took another historic step today. The Union Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today decided to do away with beacons of all kinds atop all categories of vehicles in the country. The government is of the considered opinion that beacons on vehicles are perceived symbols of VIP Culture, and have no place in a democratic country. They have no relevance whatsoever. Beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerned with emergency and relief services, ambulance, fire service etc. In the light of this decision the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways will make necessary provisions in the law.

B. Amended Rule 108 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989

(Items marked in red are proposed amendments)

[108. Use of red, white or blue light.—(1) No motor vehicle shall show a red light to the front or light other than red to rear:

Provided that the provisions of tills rule shall not apply to‑

(i)  the internal lighting of the vehicle; or

(ii)   the amber light, if displayed by any direction indicator or top light or as top light used on vehicle for operating within the premises like airports, ports, mines and project sites without going outside the said premises on to public roads;

(iii)    a vehicle carrying high dignitaries as specified by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, from time to time;

(iv)   the blinker type of red light with purple glass fitted to an ambulance van used for carrying patients; or

(v)  to a vehicle having a lamp fitted with an electrical bulb, if the power of the bulb does not exceed seven watts and the lamp is fitted with frosted glass or any other material which has the effect of diffusing the light;

(vi)   white light illuminating the rear number plate;

(vii)  white light used while reversing;

(viii)   plough light provided in agricultural tractors for illuminating the implement’s working area on the ground in agricultural field operations.

(2) Use of blue light with flasher shall be determined and notified by the State Governments at their discretion.

(3)    Use of blue light with or without flasher shall be pennitted as top light on vehicles escorting high dignitaries entitled to the use of red light.

(4)    Use of multi-coloured red, blue and white light shall be permitted only on vehicles specifically designated for emergency duties and shall be specifically specified by State Governments  such emergency and disaster management duties as may be specified by the Central Government.

(5) The State Government shall inform the Central Government regarding publication of notifications issued by the concerned State Government under sub-rule (2) and under clause (e) of the Notification No. S.O. 52(E), dated 11th January, 2002, published in the Gazette of India, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, regarding use of red light on top of vehicle being used by dignitaries.

(6) In case vehicle is not carrying dignitaries, red or blue light, as the case may be, light shall not be used and be covered by black cover.]

C. Draft Notification Dated 20.04.2017 proposed to be effective from 01.05.2017


New Delhi, the 20th April, 2017

G.S.R. 397(E).—The following draft of certain rules further to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, which the Central Government proposes to make in exercise of the powers conferred by section 110 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) is hereby published as required by sub-section (1) of section 212 of the said Act for information of all persons likely to be affected thereby; and notice is hereby given that the said draft shall be taken into consideration after expiry of a period of ten days from the date on which the copies of this notification as published in the Gazette of India are made available to the public.

2. Any objections or suggestions received from any person with respect to the said draft rules within the expiry of the period so specified will be considered by the Central Government.

3. Objections or suggestions, if any, may be sent to the Joint Secretary (Transport), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Transport Bhawan, Parliament Street, New Delhi-110001, within the period specified above.


1. (1) These rules may be called the Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Rules, 2017.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their final publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, in rule 108,—

(a) in sub-rule (1), in the proviso,

(i) in clause (ii), for the words “airports, ports”, the words “airports, ports, mines and project sites” shall be substituted;

(ii) clause (iii) shall be omitted;

(iii) clause (v) shall be omitted;

(b) sub-rules (2) and (3) shall be omitted;

(c) in sub-rule (4), for the words “emergency duties and shall be specifically specified by State Governments”, the words “such emergency and disaster management duties as may be specified by the Central Government” shall be substituted;

(d) sub-rules (5) and (6) shall be omitted.

[F. No. RT-11036/24/2017-MVL]


Note : The principal rules were published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i) vide notification number G.S.R. 590(E), dated the 2nd June, 1989 and was last amended vide notification number G.S.R. _____(E) dated ______.

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