KOCHI: After cracking down on altered bikes, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) is now after vehicles with improper number plates.
As per the data with the traffic police, around 90 violations are being recorded every month. Even people within the law enforcement departments are being nailed for flouting rules regarding number plates.
According to PH Ibrahim, CI, traffic police, the most number of violations are committed by youth. “For many youngsters, being trendy matters a lot. Just like the alterations they make in their vehicles, the youngsters also go in for number plates that stand out. However, such alterations or artistically-designed number plates are against rules,” he said.
According to him, if caught, these number plates will be taken down and a fine of Rs 5,000 imposed. The violators are also directed to replace the number plates at the earliest,” said the official.
“Recently, we flagged a CISF officer who had a designer number plate on his bike. He was made to pay a fine of
Rs 5,000 and given strict instruction to replace the plate immediately,” said the CI
In most cases, the offenders play with the design and make the numbers look like English alphabets. “What they do is create words that look stylish,” said Ibrahim.
Some of the catchphrases the cops have come across include ‘BIG B’ and ‘R15’. “We have to look thrice to decipher the registration number,” he added. As for the violation committed by plate makers, he said there is no existing law that prevents them from making designer number plates. “All we can do is to nab the vehicle owner,” said the cop.
However, according to Anish S, owner of a number plate fabricating shop, they don’t have a say in the design of the plates. “All we do is follow the instructions of the customers. If we refuse, we might end up losing the customer,” he said.
According to him, with the introduction of the tamper-proof high-security registration plates (HSRP), the demand for fancy number has reduced significantly.
“Before the introduction of HSRP, we had lots of youngsters coming in for fancy number plates. But, now, numbers have drastically dropped,” he added.
What do the rules say?
According to Section 182A and Section 39 of Motor Vehicles Act, a fine up to Rs 5,000 can be levied on those who use altered number plates and a fine of Rs 250 for using number plates not that are not in the prescribed size. As per rules, no plastic registration plates are allowed, and for bikes, the dimensions should be as per the CMVR Section 39. Fancy number plates are strictly prohibited as it will be difficult to recognise the vehicle in case of an accident.