Auto drivers give licence card display rule a go-by

Enforcement by police, transport dept is poor, says drivers' union

Auto drivers give licence card display rule a go-by

The licence card, displayed in autorickshaws to bring about more accountability among drivers, is fast disappearing.

The licence display system was introduced in 2005 and the Transport department had made it mandatory for drivers to display their licence card in the autorickshaws. But, over the years around 60 per cent of autorickshaws in the City do not have the licence displayed, said a Transport department official.

He said, “Most drivers do not like to display the licence as they feel their hands are tied, because they cannot take passengers for granted. The moment a passenger is harassed by a driver, the incident is reported immediately to the nearest police station. Therefore, they hesitate to display the licence card.” 

Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union General Secretary Rudramurthy said: “This problem has persisted for a long time. Neither the police nor the Transport department officials have taken stringent actions against drivers who are flouting this rule. There is also no effort to check the fare meter of autorickshaws and drivers are taking advantage of it by tampering with them.” 

He also pointed out, “Most autorickshaw drivers are hand in glove with the police. Recently, when members from the union conducted a random check on auto stands at the City railway station, Anand Rao Circle, Majestic, Yeshwantpur railway station and other prime areas, it was found that auto drivers pay lump sum amount to traffic police constables on a weekly basis so that they would not check them. When passengers complain to the police about overcharging, the police refuse to interfere.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B Dayananda said, “We are conducting extensive drives to check if licence card has been displayed or not. In 2012, we booked around 5,690 cases and in 2013, till November around 7,112 cases have been booked against auto drivers.” Paramashiva, an autorickshaw driver, said : “When drivers are caught for not displaying the card they get away easily by just paying some amount. Autorickshaws are rented to various people by the owners and they cannot display the card every time a new driver hires the vehicle.”  

Arundhati, who frequently commutes by autorickshaw said, “auto rickshaws plying in the core of City have their licence displayed but the problem is with drivers in residential areas who are not following the rule. The checking in residential areas should be increased. Most licence cards displayed are either torn or worn out.” 

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