Cops to focus on taxi, auto drivers who refuse fares

THE Mumbai traffic police are going to train their guns on taxi and autorickshaw drivers who refuse fares in the coming year.

Apart from the other drives, the traffic police have decided to crack the whip on such taxi and auto drivers as the number of complaints have risen over the past few years.

"Commuters suffer a lot because of errant drivers, especially during peak hours. It is also a problem for women and senior citizens," said Pratap Dighavkar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic). The police have also decided to report the errant drivers to the RTO and have their licences revoked.

According to traffic police statistics, in 2011, the traffic police had taken action against 22,021 drivers in an intensive drive.

In 2012, the numbers decreased, with 6,772 drivers being penalised. However, the number again went up to 9,493 till November 31 in 2013.

The police officers said awareness has helped with more people coming forward and filing complaints this year as compared to last year.

"As the number of complaints has gone up, action against errant drivers have also increased," Dighavkar added.

The drive to penalise the errant drivers was kicked off by the traffic police in August 2010.

Refusal to ply is punishable with fine up to Rs 200 and suspension of licence. Once a commuter lodges a complaint, the traffic police notes the number of the vehicle and when the driver arrives at the traffic police headquarters to renew his licence, he is penalised.

The drivers are also educated by the traffic police officers about not refusing a fare.

megha.sood@expressindia.com

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