On Day 1 of its drive against autorickshaw and taxi drivers who refuse to ply short distances, the traffic police penalised 544 drivers. Auto drivers were fined Rs100 each, while taxi drivers were fined Rs. 200 each.
Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said the drive was conducted for 12 hours between 9am and 9pm on Wednesday. He said the drive would continue indefinitely as fare refusal is a major menace and affects everyone.
“We will be sending the registration numbers of these drivers’ vehicles to the Regional Transport Office and will ensure strict action is taken against them. We will ask for cancellation of permits and licences of repeat offenders,” Dighavkar said.
The drive was conducted across 16 traffic outposts in the western and eastern suburbs.
These include Mahim, Matunga, Chembur, Trombay, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Mulund, Bandra, Vakola, Airport, Saki Naka, DN Nagar, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivli and Borivli areas.
Traffic police officers said in each of these areas, at least four squads, each comprising 12 con stables, of which four are women and one sub-inspector, have been deployed to conduct the drive and get auto and taxi drivers who refuse fares penalised.
A total of 64 squads compris ing 832 traffic personnel will work exclusively on this drive.
“A woman constable, dressed in plainclothes, tries to hail a rickshaw or a taxi and if a driver refuses her, a colleague, who is stationed nearby, immediately penalises him,” said Dighavkar.
During a similar drive con ducted between September 26 and September 29, the traffic police penalised 1,057 autorick shaw drivers and 637 taxi drivers across the city.