Modified vehicles still rule urban roads

Despite intensified action, young riders disinclined to keep altered vehicles off city roads

September 11, 2022 06:25 pm | Updated 06:25 pm IST - Kozhikode

Even as the police and Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) squads have reportedly intensified action against altered vehicles, there is no let up in the number of such newer ones hitting overcrowded city roads. Noisy modified silencers, upsized tyres, bigger alloy wheels, and fancy horns are still in use.

A nearly 10-km stretch of the Kozhikode beach is now the demo ground for many bike and car stunting groups. Many of them do not even stop the vehicles during surprise checks. Most of all, underage riders are also part of such reckless racing groups.

“What you see on the Kozhikode beach road during weekends is exactly the situation on most of the city roads. The loud sound of altered silencers is deafening, and it even startles small children,” says Fazal Kadavath, a local food vendor in the area. He also recalls incidents in which the pedestrians escaped miraculously from such speeding vehicles.

Vehicles, customised exclusively for off-road drive, racing on the roads are also creating a hazardous situation. Many young drivers take such vehicles to the city’s prime tourism destinations for demo rides and stunts to capture public attention. The dangerous zig-zag race often causes damage to parked vehicles.

“I have seen many reckless riders colliding with vehicles and quickly fleeing from the spot without compensating the loss. Tracking such vehicles is a difficult task as the riders use fancy number plates, and the tricky positioning of the number plates obstructs quick identification,” says V. Madhu, an ex-serviceman from Govindapuram. He also complains that the response of the police on receiving such complaints from the public is not so cordial.

Meanwhile, officers now part of the road enforcement squads say notices have already been sent to the owners of several altered vehicles recently spotted on the city roads. “There are drivers who do not stop on seeing checking squads, but that doesn’t mean we will let them go scot-free,” they added.

“The special drive carried out during Onam had caught many young riders with altered vehicles. It was because of our intervention that such vehicles did not hit the road during Onam,” said an MVD officer who was part of the checking drive. He also pointed out that some of the colleges and higher secondary schools were under the surveillance of road enforcement squads to track the use of altered vehicles.

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