Starting today, officials from the traffic police department will be penalising vehicle owners flaunting numberplates in the Devanagri script. The initiative was taken considering the growing trend among vehicles owners of using numberplates in Devanagri script, which is illegal as per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
Till date action was taken against motorists using fancy numberplates. A total of 26,852 motorists, including two wheelers and four wheelers, were penalised for flaunting fancy numberplates from January to August. Fine worth Rs 28.5 lakh was collected from the offenders.
“It has been observed that people are installing Marathi numberplates on their vehicles. But as per the rule — Section 50 (D) of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 — it is illegal to have a number plate in languages other than English,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said.
Pandhare said on several occasions, the numerals resemble alphabets and appear to have names like NANA, DADA and PAWAR, among others, makes it difficult for the police and the public to read the number.
He also said if owners of vehicles with such numberplates meet with an accident in other states, it would be difficult for the local police officials to trace the vehicles origin using its registration number.
“It is mandatory to have numberplates in English — in the front and the as well. If the vehicle owner wants, he or she can display Marathi numberplate anywhere on the vehicle other the space designated for numberplates in English. But it is only possible for three or four wheeler to have numberplates in different scripts, not two-wheelers,” Pandhare said.
Pandhare said the department had issued notices to numberplate makers in the city, asking them to adhere to the norms. He said if anybody was found guilty of found flouting the rule that person would be penalised.
He said the department also decided to keep an eye on the vehicles with registration numbers from other states and action will be taken against owners of such vehicles if they lacked adequate documentation.
“Vehicle number will be communicated to the Regional Transport Office, which will take necessary action against the person,” Pandhare said. “Keeping in mind the recent blasts and upcoming Ganapati festival, we have decide to keep such vehicles in check as possibility of sabotage cannot be ruled out during festival.”