Tippers continue to ‘prowl’ without number plates; police, RTO sleeps

Srinagar, Oct 9: The tippers –often accused of over-speeding and unleashing a reign of terror –continue to ply without number plates raising question marks on the credibility of the traffic author...

Srinagar, Oct 9: The tippers –often accused of over-speeding and unleashing a reign of terror –continue to ply without number plates raising question marks on the credibility of the traffic authorities including the police and the Regional Transport Office.
 For the past few months the movement of tippers without number plates, as per complainants, has become so common that scores of new tippers which have been given fitness certificates by the RTO don't bear any number plate on the rare of the load carriers.
 This means that in case of any accident, which is not so rare on the City roads, the tipper drivers could manage to escape scot-free simply because nobody could ascertain the whereabouts of the fleeing vehicle when looked at from behind.

THE DARK DRIVING
 The tippers and other road carriers are allowed to venture into the City only during the night hours when the traffic police officials allegedly leave for home. This means there's little scope of checking the deadly offence of not bearing any number plate during the night hours that too when the "staff starved traffic police is craving for more of workforce.

THE DAYTIME 'SLUMBER'
 But this doesn't mean that the tippers don't ply during daytime. The load carriers not only operate in rural areas but also ferry material in the City suburbs while Parimpora-Athwajan bypass is most frequented by them during daytime.
 This way the violation could easily be checked on the peripheries and the districts adjoining Srinagar by the rural wing of the Traffic police. 

THE RURAL DISSECTION
 A dissection of the fine revenue collected by the twin wings of the Traffic police in Kashmir province reveal an interestingly story. While the Srinagar City alone has fetched a revenue of around Rs 80 lakh in the first six months of 2011, the revenue collected by the rural wing from all the districts, as per sources was around Rs 69 lakh.
 The fine collection needs to be looked in the backdrop of the fact that City police is often busy in regulating traffic while the other wing has ample scope to go for enforcement by way of slapping Challans on the violators. Moreover their presence spreads over the maximum number of districts.
 But the tippers without number plates and the allegedly rash driving by Tata Sumo cabs on the inter-district routes is what the rural wing of the Traffic police could be obviously more blamed for.

RTO FACTOR
 Most of the new tippers don't bear any number plates on the rare while the same has been painted on the sides. This again raises a simple question. How could the vehicle be identified if it runs in case of an accident and why didn't the RTO look into this facet at the time of issuing registration. On the other hand the tippers don't adhere to any standards of number display by way of position, font and color of the number plates. The RTO Muhammad Anees, couldn't be contacted for comment, despite repeated attempts.

THE PRAY
 Observers prayed that the Mobile Magistrates should personally look into the matter.
 "Moving without number plates is a visible offence and we pray that honorable Mobile Magistrates should look into the matter," said Advocate Muhammad Suhail.
 Suhail opines that driving "speeding tippers without number plates is a deadly offence and such violators should be imposed a heavy fine."

POLICE SPEAKS
 The traffic police says it was keeping an eye on the issue. "There could be only a few tippers without number plates and we are trying to catch them," said a traffic police official.
 However, if officials are to be believed the SP Traffic Srinagar Maqsood Ul Zaman has been "relentlessly trying to tame the erring tipper drivers."
 On a single day some days back Zaman fined around three dozen tippers in a day on the south City highway. The number of tippers seized by the police was so big that Zaman had to get them parked at a nearby vacant land till the accused got the vehicles released after paying penalty.

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