VISAKHAPATNAM : All efforts to rein in erring auto drivers by the police are turning futile in Visakhapatnam. The audacity has gone to such an extent that an auto-rickshaw driver has attacked two policemen with knife at Padmanabham. The police are now shifting their focus on rental agencies of the three-wheeler.
The drivers are turning out to be habitual offenders and the latest incident has once again shown the ugly side of the three- wheeler services in the city. According to the city Traffic department data, around 94,000 out of 4.6 lakh cases are of auto-rickshaw drivers on various charges like over-speeding, wrong parking, bad condition of vehicle and overloading. Around 6,000 cases have been booked against the drivers for not having the basic driving licence (DL). As many as 36 cases were booked against the auto-rickshaw drivers last year on various counts like molestation, dacoity and robbery.
Traffic police say that a huge number of auto-rickshaw drivers have been driving the three-wheelers by taking them on rent. The police say that the owners have been giving the vehicles without checking the credentials of the person, which has been leading to such issues.
“We caution the auto owners to check the person’s identity. They should also collect the driver’s identification details like house address, photo copies of Aadhaar card and driving licence and they should also find out whether he had any cases registered against him or alcoholic,” said K Mahendra Patrudu, the additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-Traffic). He also said that 6,000 people have been driving vehicle without the DL, a disturbing factor.
In a recent case at Pendurthy, the police nabbed an auto driver on the charges of molesting a woman. The police found that the driver himself painted a number pertaining to the Two Town police station, rather than getting it from Pendurthi police. The city police have introduced a unique identification number to make it easy for commuters to remember the vehicle number in case of any theft, crime or emergency. But the auto-rickshaw drivers have been giving themselves some number and painting it on the vehicle.
After the incident, the police wanted to start random checkings to rein in the errant auto drivers. The police are mulling at embossing a stamp on the vehicle. The police have also appealed to the drivers to have a board mentioning all details at back of their seat for the convenience of commuters to know the personal details of the driver. However, few have done it.
“The unique identification number will bring accountability. This is also being misused. We have to increase random checkings,” the ADCP added.