Parking Lights Mandatory for Vehicles Parked Roadside, Not the Fault of the Driver Who Collides: Punjab and Haryana High Court

In a significant judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the need for mandatory parking lights and reflectors on vehicles parked alongside roads. This decision came while dismissing an appeal by an insurance company against the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Sirsa’s ruling.

The case involved a tragic incident on August 9, 2020, where a car collided with a canter parked on the side of a road. The canter was stationed on the unpaved shoulder of a road wide enough for two vehicles. The darkness of the night and the absence of parking lights or reflectors on the canter led to the collision, resulting in the death of Arvind Kumar, a passenger in the car. Kumar’s dependents argued that the canter was virtually invisible due to the lack of adequate safety signals.

After hearing all parties, the High Court clarified that vehicles parked on the roadside must always have their parking indicators on and be equipped with reflectors. In this case, the absence of these safety measures on the canter meant that the car driver could not have anticipated an obstacle in the road. Therefore, the driver of the car was not to be considered negligent.

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The court also rejected the insurance company’s argument to reduce the compensation amount, upholding the Tribunal’s award of INR 19 lakhs to the victim’s family. This ruling emphasizes the court’s strict stance on road safety and the responsibilities of vehicle owners to prevent such accidents.

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