otor Traffic Act, No. 14 of 1951—Section 239, Regulation 17—Stop light—Not abasic requirement of every motor vehicle.
Regulation 17 of the Regulations framed under section 239 of the MotorTraffic Act does not lay down that every motor vehicle should have a stoplight.
ZiPPEAL from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Negombo.
M.L. S. Jayasekera, for the accused appellant.
A. E. Keuneman, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
Cur. adv. vult.
January 21, 1954. Swan J.—
The appellant in this case was charged with having on 21.8.53 drivenlorry CL 3425 on a public highway without a. stop light fitted to therear of the vehicle. Admittedly the lorry did not have a stop light. Itwas contended on behalf of the prosecution that regulation 17 of theRegulations framed under section 239 of the Motor Traffic Act, No. 14of 1951, required every motor vehicle to be fitted with a stop light. Inthe lower Court as well as in this Court the contention of the defencewas that rule 17 does not lay down that every motor vehicle should havea stop light. Regulation 17 reads as follows :—
“ Every stop light fitted to a motor vehicle must be placed at therear of the vehicle and not to the left of the centre thereof and whenin operation must show a red or amber fight. A duplicatestop fight may also be fitted to the left or near side so that itcomes into operation at the same time as the other stop fight.”
The learned Magistrate looking at regulation 18 appears to have takenthe view that a stop light is a basic requirement of every motor vehicle.With that view I cannot agree. Mr. Jayasekerai appearing for theappellant pointed out the different wording of regulations 9 and 10 onthe one hand and of regulation 17 on the other. Learned Crown Counselhowever, referred me to regulation 5 which puts the matter beyond alldoubt. Regulation 5 (1) states that every motor vehicle must beconstructed so as to he steered from the right or off-side. There is aproviso giving the Commissioner the right to issue a special permit
GUNASEKARA J.—Dharmatunga v. Sub-Inspector of Police, Paddawela
authorising the use of a motor vehicle that has its steering column onthe left or near-side. Sub-section 2, however, prohibits the issue of aspecial permit unless certain conditions are fulfilled, and one of theseconditions is the requirement of “ a mechanical or illuminated devicecapable of givb g distinct and intelligible signals required by section 155of the Act and of clearly indicating any intention to stop the motor vehicle ”.
I set aside tne conviction and acquit the accused.
Appeal allowed.