Delhi Traffic Police has put a spanner in the state carrier DTC’s plans to earn extra revenue through whole body wrap advertisements on its low floor buses, citing road safety reasons. The issue was discussed in the State Transport Authority (STA) meeting last month and the traffic police have been asked to justify its objection with details of accidents attributed to distraction caused by motorists, said a senior government official. The Delhi Traffic Police will provide the details within one month. Till the time, the approved proposal will be kept in abeyance, he said. A senior Delhi Traffic Police officer admitted its objection to the proposal although there are no instances that could be cited in favor of opposition to displays on the right side of the buses. “There are no instances that we can site but even internationally, objections have been raised on this kind of advertising. Many experts have called it a “security risk” for motorists,” the officer said.
The ‘guideline on display of an advertisement on public service vehicles, 2014’, allowed displays only on left and rear sides of the buses. The Delhi Transport Corporation(DTC) board meeting in November 2015 had directed the Commissioner (Transport) to examine the issue of whole body wrap advertisements including right side of the low floor buses to fetch “good revenue”. DTC cited various examples of state transport undertakings like BEST in Mumbai, UP, Haryana and Himachal Roadways, besides Metro feeder buses and HoHo buses of Delhi Tourism, where displays on right sides of the vehicles are allowed. Considering the DTC request, STA amended the advertisement guidelines, in May 2016, permitting display of advertisements on right sides of the buses.
In October 2016, however, the Special Commissioner of Delhi Police (Traffic) who is also a member of the STA Board, registered his objection that display of advertisements on the right side of the public vehicles will be “a source of distraction” for the motorists that may lead to road accidents. The officer said that advertisement display on the right side should not be allowed and the amended guideline needs to be restored to its original prescription of advertisements only on left and rear sides of the vehicles.