Drive on against motorbikes with missing, tampered number plates

Cars with colour films on widows and rear windscreen have become common in Kochi.

Cars with colour films on widows and rear windscreen have become common in Kochi.

The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has stepped up the enforcement drive against new-generation motorbikes and other two-wheelers without registration number plates or with tampered number plates. Crimes committed by youth riding such vehicles have become commonplace in the city and its suburbs.

“Considering the gravity of the situation, we have begun referring such cases to the court, since most riders do this on purpose to get away after committing crimes or to evade law-enforcing agencies,” said G. Anandakrishnan, Enforcement RTO (Ernakulam). “This is on a directive from the Transport Secretary. Youth involved in chain snatching, narcotic drug peddling, and other crimes know it is difficult to track them down if their vehicles’ identity is concealed,” he added.

Even if they are intercepted as part of regular enforcement drives, they either speed away or cite excuses like the number plate got detached earlier. They would carry the plate with them as proof in most instances. Even worse, many of these riders do not have driving licence either. Once apprehended, the vehicle is handed over to the nearest police station and the case referred to the court. It takes minimum of one month for the owner to get the vehicle back, while the rider’s licence can be suspended, Mr. Anandakrishnan said.

It is mandatory that all vehicles manufactured in the country after April 2019 have high-security number plates. Dealers must rivet them as mandated on the front and rear of the vehicle. The police have to be informed in case the number plate suffers any damage, following which a fresh one ought to be refixed.

MVD sources said that in a recent incident, they had tracked down the rider of a bike without number plate using his Instagram account which was displayed on the vehicle, although he refused to stop when told to. “He used to participate in bike stunts and had both the number plates destroyed. So much so that he even forgot the registration number. Finally, we had to rely on the chassis number to identify the registration number, since he did not even have the RC book. Parents can easily identify if their child has criminal tendency by keeping tabs on such offences. Such youth also mostly frequent new-generation coffee and tea shops that have sprung up on highways and alleys,” they said.

Besides, there are rule violations like illegal alteration of motorbikes and scooters. An enforcement official who was part of the drive to nab such vehicles said rear mudguards, tyres, and silencers are nowadays rampantly tampered with or altered by youth taking to racing or stunts on public roads. They attract a minimum fine of ₹5,000.

A similar drive against cars with windows and windscreens shaded in dark colours is on the cards, to prevent, among other crimes, drug peddling, it is learnt. Such a drive named Operation Screen, which had been launched in September tapered away during the past couple of months.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 4:59:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/drive-on-against-motorbikes-with-missing-tampered-number-plates/article38336152.ece