Crackdown by police near medical college, Thampanoor; action against 132 drivers

The city police on Monday went around cracking the whip on autorickshaw drivers who refused to go on short-distance trips, those who did not use fare meters, and those who charged more than the actual fare.

The drive was in continuation of an earlier one initiated by City Police Commissioner P. Vijayan against autorickshaw drivers who, apart from violating traffic rules, behaved rudely with passengers or drove their vehicles in an inebriated condition. Mr. Vijayan said that though most auto drivers had been slowly falling in line with the norms laid down by the police, there was a spurt in deviations of late, probably as part of the festival season.

The crackdown on Monday, which focussed on Thampanoor and the Medical College areas, saw action being initiated against 132 autorickshaw drivers, of which 102 were from Thampanoor. Sheen Tharayil, Circle Inspector, Thampanoor, said the crackdown was carried out with help from the Shadow Police, with policemen in mufti trapping the erring drivers.

Thirty-eight autorickshaws which were operating without fare meters were seized while action was initiated against 56 drivers who refused to take passengers on short-distance trips.

Drivers who charged rates over and above the meter fare, those who misbehaved with passengers, and some who were driving their vehicles after using intoxicating stuff also had cases booked against them.

There were some violations that were detected from visuals recorded by CCTV cameras installed at various points in the city, Pramod Kumar, Circle Inspector, Control Room, said.

Mr. Vijayan said there had been a spate of complaints against the autorickshaw drivers in the city recently. The drive would continue in other parts of the city in the coming days.

Meanwhile, members of the public who had to encounter drivers who either misbehaved with them, or refused to use fare meters or to go on short-distance trips, could contact the police immediately on 100 (Control Room), 1091 (women’s helpline), 1090 (crime stopper) and also on the Control Room Assistant Commissioner’s mobile number, 9497990004.