BENGALURU: The practice of driving with vehicle registration plates printed in Kannada instead of the mandatory English,has been continuing in the city, despite the traffic police and Transport Department’s best efforts to tackle the issue.
While the usage of vehicle registration plates in the local language is thought to be legal by many, according to the rules, only English vehicle registrations from 0-9 should be used across the country. In cases where one is insistent on a vehicle registration plate in the local language, the English equivalent must also be displayed as this helps with easy identification for motorists from other states as well
as the police.
The number of defective vehicle number plate cases which also include those with only Kannada numbers and alphabets was 4.87 lakh in 2018, which has increased from 2.44 lakh in 2017.
“Someone once hit my vehicle from behind and escaped, I was unable to note down the registration number as the numbers were in Kannada. I could not file a complaint as well,” said Shakthi G, a corporate employee.
According to corporate employee Chirantan Gogoi, criminals could use this method to get away with offences. “There have been several instances when I was unable to note down the number of the vehicle,” he said.
Traffic police officials explained the action that one could face for the offence. “If the person is adamant about not changing the plate, we give them a receipt and ask them to go to the court. Their driving license is seized for three months and submitted to the RTO,” said a constable with the Cubbon Park Station. Talking about the menace, he said that he would find at least 10 people in a day with vehicle registration plates written in Kannada and he would ensure they are all fined for the violation.
A senior official from the traffic police explained that awareness about the rule was on the rise. “People are accepting these days and cooperate when explained about the rule. For the first time, the fine is `100 and `300 for the second time. Inspectors and constables who are aware about this rule have been keeping an eye out for the same. Also, we make sure they remove their vehicle registration plates when we catch them,” the official said.