The “decorative” number plate violations rose by 288 per cent in the last year.
Bangalore, March 15, 2018: Number plate violations have drastically increased in the last 13 months in Bangalore as vehicle-owners continue to purchase decorative plates despite the rules. These violations include use of fancy fonts, logos, special characters, and words.
In 2017, as many as 2, 44,174 cases were registered which if compared with 2016’s 62, 785 amounts to a 288 per cent increase.
Statistics from the Bangalore Traffic Police show that up till February 28, 2018, the number of violations were already 1, 23, 189.
Sohail Ahmed, owner of Fast and Furious Showdown, auto accessories shop, said, “I continue to make the number plates because vehicle-owners still purchase in rising numbers despite the fine. There is a risk of cancellation of license by the traffic police department also. But customers still demand it. Particularly the 3D ones are in high demand. I get about 7-8 orders for 3D plates a week.”
3D plates use two-tone lettering, that is, two shades for the letters to give a three-dimensional effect.
An incentive for the makers and suppliers of such plates is a greater profit margin.
Abdul Rahim, owner of Taj Number Plates, a number plate supplier, said, “It’s not our fault. It’s the customers who come asking for it. We make according to the RTO guidelines. But when customers demand beautiful fonts and logos and stickers, we place such orders with the manufacturer. Also, profit margins are higher in the designer ones by around Rs. 200. So why not?”
He added “If I don’t make it, then customers would purchase the ordinary ones and then hand it over to designing shops for beautification. So I provide the services myself.”
Vehicle-owners in their defense say that they enjoy showing their personal style.
Ankit Agarwal, a bike owner, said, “It’s a matter of personalization. I am a bike-lover so I want my vehicle to look appealing as per my taste. People who obsess over their vehicles would naturally want to decorate it and add a personal touch.”
As stated in the Motor Vehicles Act, there should not be any graffiti or drawing on the number plates. The plate of private vehicles should have white background and black colour letters, while commercial vehicles should have a yellow background with black letters.
While the words should be in English capital letters, the numerals should be in Indo-Arabic style. Bold or Italics is not allowed either. Notably, plates written in both English and Kannada are permitted but only Kannada is not allowed.
Nagesh S.H., a traffic police constable, stated that there is a fine of Rs. 100 for number plate violations. He said, “There are specific guidelines in place for how a number plate should be. The plate should only depict the registration number. Lately, there have been many cases of violation. But fine doesn’t help. It so far hasn’t discouraged vehicle-owners from committing the offence.”