Circular is licence for confusion

Vehicle owners will have to display 4 number plates, says transport dept

Vehicle owners will have to display 4 number plates, says transport dept

Clearly, if this order is to be implemented in its letter and spirit, automobile manufacturers will have to redesign the portion of the vehicles — in the front and the rear — where number plates are fixed. The immediate issue that has left the RTOs asking more questions than they can answer is the number of languages the registration numbers will have to be displayed in.

The circular insists that the number plates must be in Kannada — a means to exhibit Kannada pride — and English.
Curiously, the last date for adhering to this rule, mandatory for private and government vehicles alike, was March 31.
Transport department Joint Commissioner Vijay Vikram said the circular was issued some four years ago, allowing people to display number plates in Kannada, if they so preferred.

However, as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, registration numbers have to be in English and Arabic.
“So, it was suggested in the circular that vehicle owners who wish to use Kannada to display the registration numbers would have to use four plates — two in English and Arabic and two in Kannada. The department has not made it mandatory to have three or four number plates,” Vikram said, trying to clear the air.

But the RTO officials here are scratching their heads on how to implement the circular because no automobile manufacturer has so far made the provision to have two (or more) number plates either in front or rear of the vehicles, especially two-wheelers. What is more confounding is that the circular wants motorcycles to display the registration numbers in English on the left-hand side and Kannada plates on the right in front of the vehicle. The third plate — in English — will have to be affixed in the rear.

One official asked: “Who would have thought that people at the transport department would like to teach us about Kannada pride and in the process have us all become bundles of confusion?”

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