‘Private vehicles’ escape scrutiny

Private vehicles -- not registered as taxis with the Transport department-- but rented by their respective owners are difficult to be controlled by law-enforcing agencies, even as the TS Government had announced to keep tab on taxi operators.

While taxis are identified with the yellow number plates, private vehicles ‘for hire’ never come under the scanner of the authorities. Some drivers purchase cars but don’t register them as taxis to evade taxes and escape the radar of Road Transport Authorities, police officials explain.

Drivers of such ‘private cars’ are seen stopping at bus-stops in city and asking passengers waiting there to travel in their cars by paying money. Unsuspecting people get into those vehicles and travel as they don’t see any danger, it is pointed out.

In fact, the driver who had sexually assaulted a software professional after abducting her from Madhapur a few months ago - known as the “Abhaya case” - used a private car. He approached the woman waiting to catch a vehicle or bus claiming that he was a cab driver.

There are many instances of drivers of three-wheelers and four-wheelers stopping at bus-stops to pick up passengers in the night. Accomplices of the drivers travel in the vehicle posing as passengers so as to make the people believe it was a taxi.

After reaching an isolated place, they attack the passengers and snatch away whatever valuables or cash the latter posses. “In the recent instance of a person attempting to abduct a woman after she boarded the vehicle at Shamshabad airport, the vehicle was a private one,” the Cyberabad police officials said.

If the vehicle used in an offence is a taxi, at least tracing it and catching the accused becomes easier for the police as the data of cabs are available. Interestingly, the idea of making it mandatory for the taxi operators to install GPS in their vehicles also is not a complete solution to curb crimes by taxi drivers, officials concede.

“What is the point in having the GPS installed in the taxis when there is no one from the taxi agency to monitor movement of the vehicles,” ask police officials. Police have decided to direct all taxi agencies to not only install GPS gadgets in the vehicles but also set up control rooms to monitor if the vehicle was travelling in the assigned route.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 2:21:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/private-vehicles-escape-scrutiny/article6677059.ece

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