Navi Mumbai cops to make your auto ride saferUpdated: Jan 18, 2020 00:20 IST
As the road safety week ends, the Navi Mumbai traffic police along with the Panvel and Vashi regional traffic office will shift their focus on autorickshaw drivers who ferry more than three passengers.
Regional Transport Office (RTO) will also begin a drive to implement mandatory use of permit in Panvel.
In a recent meeting with the Panvel and Vashi RTO officials, deputy commissioner of police Sunil Lokhande chalked out a fresh plan for safe driving among auto drivers. The traffic police divisions will work with the RTO department to ensure auto drivers follow rules.
“It is a safety concern if drivers carry more than three passengers. We regularly take action against such drivers. With the new drive, we will focus on implementing the rules against unsafe travel,” said Lokhande.
Autorickshaw drivers outside railway stations in Vashi, Turbhe, Juinagar, Kharghar, Khandeshwar and Panvel have been ferrying more than three passengers, blatantly flouting rules.
At Mansarovar railway station, while drivers queue up to pick passengers, they always take five passengers.
“Mostly share auto drivers carry extra passengers. During our drive, we will check valid documents including their licence and permit. If drivers are found carrying more than three passengers, their licence and permit will be seized and suspended,” said Laxman Darade, in-charge of Panvel RTO.
As many as 30,000 autorickshaws are registered in Panvel including the six-seater autos. The six-seater autorickshaws ply on the highways and carry over 10 passengers.
Police claimed they do not receive as many complaints from citizens against auto drivers carrying extra passengers.
RTO officials said they will also start cracking down on drivers who do not ply by meter and demand a fixed amount from passengers. The flying squads will check for such violations at railway stations where the problem is more prevalent.
Traffic police officers said it is difficult to crack down on errant auto drivers because they belong to politically-backed unions. Around 12 auto unions manage the auto drivers in the city.
Kantilal Kadu of Sangarshi rickshaw-drivers Sangathna said auto drivers are forced to carry more passengers because they need to make ends meet.
“It will be good if only three passengers are allowed in one auto. But, residents should also support it. If they don’t board an auto already carrying three passengers, the driver will not force them to board. As for the metered autos, it will benefit passengers and drivers both,” Kadu said.
A 50-year-old Panvel auto driver said, “I have a meter installed in my vehicle but cannot use it as it would get me in trouble with other drivers and may not be allowed to drive in this area.”