Ab tak 8,500: Traffic cops penalise record number of auto drivers in 5 days
This crackdown was sparked by a series of mid-day reports about auto drivers harassing passengers, as well as a viral video that showed an auto driver assaulting a commuter in BKC last week
Spurred into action by the Commissioner of Police Subodh Jaiswal's orders to take action against errant auto drivers, the Mumbai Traffic Police have fined more than 8,500 offenders in just five days. The cops were seen not only issuing e-challans to them, but also cancelling the licence of those found violating the rules frequently.
This crackdown was sparked by a series of mid-day reports about auto drivers harassing passengers, as well as a viral video that showed an auto driver assaulting a commuter in BKC last week. Under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Act, the cops fined autowallahs for violating traffic rules, turning passengers away, plying without uniform or licence, among other violations. Police sources said most of the offenders were caught at heavy footfall areas, such as railway stations during the morning and evening peak hours.
Joint CP (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar said, "We have intensified action against errant auto drivers in the western and eastern suburbs of the city. Over 8,500 auto drivers have been fined so far. We will continue with it. The local police are also assisting us to ensure there is minimum inconvenience to commuters outside railway stations
during peak hours."
Commuters insist that the drive must continue on a daily basis if the cops intend on truly ending the menace. ACP Vinayak Vast (East region) told mid-day, "We are continuing with action against auto drivers, which has led to significant change, especially outside railway stations. We are also holding counselling sessions to sensitise the drivers to the rules."
After mid-day's reports, Kurla West, Bandra East, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) were the main focus. In Kurla alone, 273 auto drivers were caught and fined.
In BKC, 187 auto drivers were fined in the last five days — most were fined for refusing fares. At LTT and Bandra East, as many as 165 and 237 auto drivers were issued e-challans for similar offences. Sanjay Khatale, senior PI of the Bandra division, said, "In Bandra East, we have installed barricades to maintain lane discipline during peak hours."
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