No turning off lights in new bikes

Source: DHNS | By Arfa Kazia | Published on 20th March 2017, 11:27 AM | State News |

Bengaluru: With the government's regulation on Automatic Headlamp On (AHO) coming into effect from next month, don't freak out if your new bike does not have a switch to turn off its headlight.

The new bikes will have their headlights on once the user turns the ignition, whether it is day or night.

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had mandated all new two-wheelers to be equipped with AHO from April 2017.

The AHO, similar to daytime running lamp in cars, is found to be effective in improving conspicuity of the vehicle by attracting the attention of the road users and improving their response time.

According to government data, two wheelers accounted for nearly 30% of all accidents in Karnataka in 2015. The vehicles were involved in 13,155 of the 44,011 accidents.

While the feature has become common in developed countries over the last 10 years, the Indian government decided to enforce it last year.

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had agreed to consider AHO for two wheelers after a research organisation pushed it as one of the measures to enhance road safety. After Justice Radhakrishnan committee's direction, the ministry issued a notification in March 2016, making AHO mandatory for all two wheelers from April 2017.

The ministry has also made Bharat Stage IV engines mandatory for all new vehicles from the same date. Another major decision is the uniform crash test for all vehicles, which will come into effect from April 2018.

Data from national crime records bureau showed that 32,524 of the 1.4 lakh people who died in accidents were two-wheeler riders.

However, many owners of new vehicles are quarrelling with the representatives in showrooms asking them to install a switch to kill the headlights.

"Pedestrians and people coming from the opposite side gesture towards me to turn off the headlight. I got irritated and went to the showroom seeking a remedy. I came to know about the rule only later," said Alok Jhadav, who bought his new bike with AHO last month.

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