Time to keep a check

Display Cards

Time to keep a check

Imagine this scenario — you’re in an auto when the auto driver takes you through an unknown route. Just when you call a friend to pass on the details of the autorickshaw, you realise that there is no driver’s licence display card. This is a common scene in the City.

When a woman travels by an auto, it is important to take note of the driver’s details.
 “But what do we do when the display card is a bad photocopy of the original? Most of the time, the details displayed are an extremely light or dark copy of the original. And even if the original is displayed, the address, the photograph or other details would be scratched off,” says Sharmista B S, a professional.

“There are also times when the validity of the display card has expired. When you ask the auto driver about the same, he’ll cook up lame excuses for not renewing it,” she adds.
Strongly speaking on the need for display cards, Darshan Nair, a technical writer, says, “It’s always better to have a transparent system. Maintaining the details will also help the auto drivers. When accidents take place and the driver is not the person shown in the display, the auto owner can get into trouble.”

Darshan believes that a proper record and maintenance of these details also help to make sure that the auto isn’t stolen or misused.

Most of the autorickshaw drivers feel that getting these details renewed is a tedious task, and they could lose a day’s earnings because of the same.
Some others say that they just don’t like this feature since their personal details are accessible to others.

The authorities say that they’ve been doing their share to keep a check on the missing display cards. H G Srinivas Murthy, vice-president, ‘Autorickshaw Drivers Union’, Gayatri Nagar, vouches, “We take initiatives and help speed up the process for our members. It’s not easy to keep track of the almost 23,000 members that we have, but we keep a check nonetheless.”

M A Saleem, additional commissioner of police (traffic and law and order), under whose tenure this system was implemented in the City, says that at the moment,
the traffic police department is busy issuing these displays cards for cabs and taxis,
and will get back to close monitoring of the missing display cards in autorickshaws soon.

“We’ve been keeping track of this issue. In 2012 there were 5,690 cases that were registered and dealt with. In 2013, till now, there are 1,171 cases registered, and we will crack down on them as soon as possible,” Saleem says.   

Till then, one will have to find one’s own ways to stay safe. Aishwarya K, manager of operations at a firm, says, “When I see that these details are missing, I talk to the auto driver and try to get his name and other details like which area he belongs to.”

Aishwarya believes that since each auto has multiple drivers, a system similar to bar-code scanners where each driver can be identified, instead of tamper-able paper details, is a better idea.

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