Keeping your car in proper working order is considered vitally important in many countries. This not just require vehicles to be mechanically fit, well-maintained engines with no visible smoke emitting from the exhaust, as well as their electrical systems with properly functions headlights, tail lights, indicators & brake lights.
Older cars used to have brake lights embedded in the pair of tail lights and are activated as soon as the brake pedal is pressed. However newer cars (since like 2005/06 & onward) come equipped with a third brake light that is located at the top or bottom middle of a car’s windshield (or spoilers in sporty hatchbacks) and serves to notify drivers behind that the vehicle is slowing down.
While the third brake light may have sort of an ornamental value in our country, elsewhere its considered as important as regular brake lights. For example, in Malaysia if your vehicle’s third brake light is not working, it can result in a hefty fine of RM2,000 (PKR 1.05 lac) and 6 month imprisonment, as recently announced by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
If the third brake light malfunctions or is removed by the car owner, this poses a danger to other drivers trailing behind as they may not be able to know when the car in front is braking, resulting in a possible collision. Drivers caught with faulty or absent taillights are subject to Section 119(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for general offenses and penalties.
Looking at things like this makes us wonder how far behind we are compared to the rest of the world. Our auto industry & its related domains are way too primitive in this day & age. Not only that the new vehicles sold in our country don’t comply to any safety standard that can be labelled as parallel to the rest of the markets, they fall behind the world when it comes to emissions, features & equipment as well as the road safety.
Cars & motorcycles running without functional headlights & tail lights is a norm, and while it should be a duty of traffic police to penalize such vehicles, ironically its done on a few selected occasions in a year, that too at a handful of key areas in a certain city. And when enough amount is generated courtesy challans, everything goes back to normal.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com