The Bangalore Traffic Police has increased its vigilance on the roads of the City and is keeping an eye on traffic violators. But in the process, many commuters, whose vehicles are registered outside Karnataka, are being inconvenienced.
According to B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic), “The traffic police has no business to stop any such vehicle unless the driver has violated any other law. It is the transport department’s duty to check this and unless we are doing a joint drive with the RTO, we cannot stop such vehicles. The RTO can also notify vehicle owners to produce their papers in the nearest office if they think a law is being violated,” he informs.
The rule book as well as the website of the RTO (rto.kar.nic.in) say that vehicles migrating from any other state have to be re-registered in the State within 12 months from the date of arrival unless they are plying in the State for a short period of time. The vehicles, which are there for a longer duration, need to pay a motor vehicle tax which is then calculated by the RTO office.
Once this payment is made, an invoice is handed over to the owner of the vehicle. But for those in the City for less than 12 months, showing a toll ticket is enough.
But many Bangaloreans have fallen prey to the traffic police, who ask them for the re-registration documents. Unaware of the rules, these citizens end up giving in to the demands of the cops.
Sushanth, an IT professional, is in the City for a short-term contract and was stopped by the traffic police near Electronic City as his bike had the registration of a different state.
“Despite telling them that I am here for a short period, I was warned and told that it’s illegal. Many IT professionals face this problem almost everyday as traffic cops stop them and check their papers to see if they have the registrations of a different state, even if they are here for a short period of time,” he says.
Many say that they have fought with the RTO and the traffic police when they were harassed unnecessarily. Rishabh Arora was passing by the BDA office in Koramangala when he was stopped by an RTO officer and a traffic policeman, who demanded to see the documents of his vehicle as it had the registration of a different state. “We told them that the vehicle was here for a short duration.
But they would not budge and wanted to see the papers.They harassed us for around half an hour and later, the traffic police asked us to produce the papers. When there is a law which states that we can use a vehicle registered outside Karnataka for 11 months without re-registration, why should the RTO or traffic police stop us in the middle of the road,” he asks.