Use Of High-Power Audio Systems, Continuous Blinking Of LED Lights Fitted In Motor Vehicles Not Permissible – Kerala HC
A Division Bench of Kerala High Court comprising of Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice P.G. Ajithkumar recently held that the use of high-power audio systems, continuous blinking of LED lights and multi-coloured LED lights fitted in the passenger compartment of the motor vehicle is not legally permissible.
The Court also added that vehicles that are fitted with high-power audio systems with a rating of several thousand watts PMPO, with multiple booster/power amplifiers, speakers, and sub-woofers impair the hearing of the driver and passengers of that vehicle which also causes distraction to other drivers and road users.
The Bench further observed that vehicles fitted with multi-toned horns giving a succession of different notes and horns giving unduly harsh noise violate the standards prescribed in relation to road safety of noise and air pollution which do not comply with the requirements of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules made thereunder.
Furthermore, the Court noted –
"Use of high-power audio systems with multiple booster/power amplifiers, speakers and sub-woofers producing loud noise is legally impermissible in a motor vehicle, in view of the provisions under sub-regulations (5) and (10) of Regulation 5 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations, 2017 and also the provisions under Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000."
Additionally, the Court said that the loud sound produced by such audio systems with a rating of several thousand watts PMPO will not only impair the hearing of the driver and the passengers but also cause a distraction to other drivers and road users. Moreover, mixing up of AC and DC power supply for such high-power audio systems with DJ mixer, DJ dancing lights, laser lights, etc., violates safety standards, and poses a potential fire hazard to the passengers.
The Court also held that a contract carriage that is fitted with high-power audio systems having multiple booster/power amplifiers, speakers, and sub-woofers producing loud noise, and also DJ rotating LED lights, continuously blinking multi-colored LED lights, laser lights, etc., cannot be treated as vehicles which comply with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules made thereunder, for the purpose of grant of certificate of fitness.
"The 2nd respondent Transport Commissioner shall publish 'WhatsApp' number of the Enforcement Officer in each district, in print and visual media, and also in the official website of the Motor Vehicle Department, so as to enable the road users to bring to the notice of the concerned Enforcement Officers, the use of motor vehicles on public place flouting the safety standards regarding the lighting and light-signalling devices, retro-reflectors and also the standards prescribed in relation to control of noise," the Bench directed.
The Court also directed the Enforcement Officers to collect evidence regarding such violations of safety standards, from the video contents available on online platforms like 'YouTube.'
The Court also directed the Registry to mail the soft copy of the order to the Transport Commissioner and State Police Chief who shall forward the same to the Enforcement Officers in the Motor Vehicle Department /District Police Chief of the concerned Districts, for ensuring strict compliance.
The matter has further been listed on 28.06.2022.