The bullbar ban is already being implemented in multiple Indian states and Gujarat is the latest state to join the anti-bullbar drive. RTO officials in Surat have started fining cars and SUVs that are fitted with bullbars, and have been collecting fines ranging from Rs. 400 to Rs. 1,000. RTO officials are also asking car accessory dealers to not sell bullbars, which are also called crash guards.
Regional transport officer Parth Joshi, attached to the Surat RTO said this about the anti-bullbar drive conducted in the city,
The law is for everyone, be it common people or government officials. Crash guard poses a serious threat to pedestrians and is totally unsafe at the time of accident. It’s a misconception that a crash guard protects the vehicle. It actually destroys the engine and leads to higher fatalities at the time of accident. The department is coordinating with auto parts dealers across the city and district and sensitizing them to not sell crash guards and inform the department about car owners not heeding to the directions.
The drive against bullbars began after the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) sent a letter to transport commissioners of all states of India, urging them to act against vehicles fitted with bullbars. The letter informed the commissioners that bullbars are illegal as per the Motor Vehicles Act, and that the owners of vehicles with bullbars are liable to be penalized.
The letter also pointed out the various dangers that bullbars posed to the safety of pedestrians, vehicles users and other road users. Multiple states in India including Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamilnadu have already begun acting against vehicles with bullbars. Bullbars interfere with the working of airbags, making them useless in the time of a crash. They also adversely affect crumple zones, not allowing them to absorb impact of accidents.
The bullbar ban has been challenged in the Delhi high court by a bullbar dealer and manufacturer. A verdict on the matter is yet to be announced.