Thursday, September 03, 2009

Autodrivers like to keep it private

Autodrivers like to keep it private
By: Madhusudan Maney Date: 2009-09-02 Place: Bangalore

They are doing away with the licence display system. In most cases, it's because they haven't renewed their licences

If an autodriver does not have the Auto Driving Licence Display System, his licence has probably expired and your accident insurance could well be a worthless piece of paper. Traffic expert M N Sreehari puts the number of illegal autorickshaws plying the city roads at around 30,000 of a total of 1.15 lakh.

Bangalore was the first city in the country to implement the Singapore model of an Auto Driving Licence Display System. Made compulsory in 2006, it was introduced to bring down harassment faced by commuters and to keep track of autodrivers.

Who cares about the rules! Auto owners proudly do what they want

Checks in store

Muthanna B A, DCP traffic (east) admits that this has come to his department's notice. "We will have to start checking the vehicles and then they will automatically start renewing it."

DCP traffic (west) Pandurange Rane says that though this comes under the purview of the RTO, his department would launch a special drive to randomly check vehicles. M Manjunath, president, Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers' Association feels the transport and police departments should work together to implement the system.

"The authorities should issue a circular to the public saying autos without a valid display system should not be used. Earlier, a private company issued these cards for their own publicity but the government should take the initiative and fix a nominal fee to issue these cards. Drivers are taking it for granted because police are not taking the issue seriously," Manjunath said.

No point

But Sreehari says the system serves no purpose and is a flop. "This system was introduced to track autodrivers harassing people but the display card mentions only the RTO code (KA 01, 02 etc) and not the vehicle number.

Moreover, the person driving the auto is sometimes different from the person on the display card. If it's a case of drivers working on shifts, the photos of all drivers should be displayed. Many autodrivers give bogus addresses. If this is the case, how one can trace the driver if he commits an offence," he says.

Public display
The Auto Driving Display card has the driver's photo, name and address, driving licence number, police serial number and the validity date. It is to be displayed behind the driver's seat for the passenger to be able to see it clearly. In cases of harassment, misbehaviour or even faulty meters, passengers can note down the police serial number and lodge a complaint.


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