Hazard lamps are one of the most misused safety features in automobiles. While there are rules on how to use the hazard lamps properly, no cop ever enforces these laws. Not anymore, traffic police in Shilong, Meghalaya have decided to enforce the laws and start issuing challans to the culprits who do not use the hazard lamps properly.
According to Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, misusing the hazard lamps on a vehicle is a punishable offense and can attract a fine of up to Rs 300. After the traffic police noticed that many drivers in the city keep the hazard lamps on even at the junctions where they take random turns causing accidents.
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The hazard lamps cannot be used on a moving vehicle. It flashes all the four indicators of the car and is designed to attract attention to a hazard or a stopped vehicle or a similar condition on the road. There are many who use hazard lamps because of fog or poor visibility causing further confusion that leads to accidents.
Most people see hazard lamps as a way of attracting attention to their vehicle. People use hazard lamps during rain, fog, and even when they are driving too slow or too fast on the highways. Many people even use hazard lamps while driving at night or entering a tunnel and many others use the feature while driving on the wrong side of the road. It sure is a way to make the car more visible on the road but it is not the right way of using the hazard lamps.
What can go wrong if you use hazards in the wrong way?
Hazard lamps give an indication that the vehicle is stationary to the other drivers. That can confuse the other motorists and can become a cause of an accident. During low visibility situations like fog and heavy rainfall, all you need to do is turn on your fog lamps and if your car does not have the lamps, you can simply turn on the low beam and make the car more visible on the roads.
Suddenly turning on the hazard lamps may give an indication that the car is stopping on the roads. In fact, many cars offer the very same feature. When the driver applies the brakes aggressively while driving, the hazard lamps automatically come on to alert the vehicles behind. Also, keeping the hazard lamps on may make the turn indicators useless.
The cars from the VW Group turn off the hazards automatically when the turn indicator is used but most other cars do not have this feature. So be judicious about the hazard lamps and make sure that you use them properly to avoid accidents on the roads. In many countries, you can get a challan for using hazard lamps for any reason.
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