City traffic police crack down on faulty and fancy number plates

The city traffic police are intensifying a drive to penalise vehicles with fancy or faulty number plates.

At the beginning of the month, the traffic police announced that all motorists in the city would be given a week’s time to ensure their vehicles had number plates that adhered to the prescribed size and specifications.

Last week, they began cracking down on vehicles that flouted the norms.

“On an average we detain around 2,000 vehicles every day. In the south zone, comprising areas such as Kilpauk and Adyar, we penalise 700 vehicles per day and of these, around 300 are penalised because of fancy number plates,” said a senior traffic police officer.

Faulty plates are those that don’t adhere to the colour, size and space specifications, while fancy number plates are those that have unusual fonts or stylish depictions of numerals.

From January to May 17 this year, the traffic police have booked 21,220 vehicles for faulty number plates and collected fines amounting to over Rs. 21 lakh.

“While many motorists have plates in which the numerals and letters are not as per the prescribed size, others have fancy number plates with pictures of politicians, actors or other symbols. We remove such number plates and the motorists are asked to get new ones,” said the officer.

A senior traffic police officer said such plates make it difficult for the police to identify vehicles, and in cases of violations or accidents, this becomes a problem.

“For instance, one motorist’s license plate number was 0002. However, his plate had just the numeral 2 on it. Such plates cause confusion and delays in convicting the offenders and getting compensation for victims,” he said.

The owner of a shop on Harris Road that does work on number plates said he used to have a poster at his shop asking motorists to abide by number plate norms.

“But no one bothers. Youngsters who own expensive cars ask for number plates with fancy letters and numerals. Two-wheeler owners ask for glossy stickers on their plates. Such stickers make it hard to visually identify a plate,” he said.

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