Soon, Mumbai could get a dedicated mobile phone number from which you could get details of vehicles, such as owners’ names and their addresses.
This number, which is yet to be decided, will prove useful in case of accidents. Witnesses can simply text the number on the registration plate to the mobile phone number; they will get the above details as a reply.
“This number would help when an accident occurs. Instead of waiting for the police to reach the spot, people there can get the information instantly,” said a senior official of the transport department on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Such a system was tested at the Thane Regional Transport Office (RTO) over the last four months as a pilot project. In this case, the number gave the details only if the vehicle was registered with the Thane RTO and if its plates began with ‘MH 04’. Also, the vehicles had to be registered within the last five years.
Officials testing the software said there was scope for misuse of the information. “We are trying to fine-tune the system. The number of the person sending the request is automatically stored,” said an RTO official.
“We sent a proposal for such a system in Mumbai to the information technology department only a couple of days ago,” said the transport department official.
A similar number is being created for the city police, traffic police and RTO. Officials could get details of the vehicle’s roadworthiness, chassis number, among others. This could also help determine if the vehicle was used in a crime.