The government has asked all VIPs, excluding the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, and the Speaker of Lok Sabha, to lose the red beacon atop cars. The rule also excludes emergency services vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, police, and the army.
The rule will be effective May 1, 2017. The Union Cabinet decided the ban and the Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari said, "In a historic decision, the Cabinet has decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles, barring emergency services vehicles, from May 1."
The new rule will extend to the Prime Minister, President, Vice-President, the Chief Justice of India, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, State Cabinet Ministers, Bureaucrats and Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
The move to ban beacons comes a month after the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, Yogi Adityanath and Amarinder Singh, decided not to use beacons on their official cars.
Back in 2013, the Supreme Court said the use of beacons on cars used by officials are "ridiculous and synonymous with power". The court had asked the beacons to be removed immediately. Later, in 2015, the Supreme Court again said that beacons were "status symbols".