Friday, April 20, 2007

On improper number plates

Some thoughts on this photo I took at the Mahim Church junction in Mumbai. Comments, as always, most welcome. (Note - Before posting, I've digitally smudged the last four digits of the number plate).

1. Could that constitute an "improper number plate"? I'd say yes

2. Is driving a car with an improper number plate a fine? Yes, under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) and Section 236 of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules 1989.

4. What's the penalty? Rs100

5. Where did I get this information? Here, the Mumbai Traffic Police's website. (Nice site. I continue to be surprised by how informative and exhaustive some Govt. websites have become..and hope to post on it in the future).

6. What's the fine for a similar offence in New York? I don't know. I tried looking it up here but I couldn't find an answer. Does anyone out there know? would love some help. Thanks.

7. Coming back to Mahim, what was the owner/driver thinking? I don't know but I'm guessing he didn't know the fine is Rs100. Perhaps he didn't even think its an offence. Maybe he assumed he could bribe his way out. Or, maybe he was just taking his car to have a proper number-plate fitted. I'll never know.

8. Why this post? There'd be enough people who'd go "big deal". While I don't want to gripe about the legendary Mumbai indifference/chalta hai attitude, etc., I thought its a good time to post this because there's talk of how Mumbai should be get tougher on implementing its traffic penalties, taking an example from Delhi.

Sounds like a good idea to me.