Misuse of number plates continues

KARACHI: Influential people continue to use unauthorised number plates in blatant violation of the Karachi High Court’s order and traffic police have failed to stem this trend.

According to an order of the KHC, the size of a vehicle’s front number plate should be 13 X 5 inches in length and height and back number plate should be 14 X 7 inches. The number plates must be displayed at the designated spot on the vehicle and nowhere else. Alphabet letters should be 3 inches while the size of numeric should be 4 inches.

These specifications are violated with number plates reading "Choudhry 1" or "Butt 1" in place of registration number. The actual number plate is screwed to the corner of the bumper, printed in fine script and sometimes not displayed at all.

Misuse of official number plates that are green in colour is also widespread. Officially, one green plate is issued per MPA, however, the legislator’s family and sometimes even friends use green number plates.

A traffic warden speaking on condition of anonymity told The News: "Majority of vehicles using green number plates violate traffic rules. If you stop any of these cars, they threaten you with their connections. One of them even said he could get me fired for holding him accountable for a traffic violation".

Number plates on government-owned cars are coloured green to differentiate them from private vehicles.

The Punjab Assembly had decided to issue green number plates to MPAs for one of the cars under their use. The number plates showed the Punjab government’s logo, an MPA’s title and constituency. It was also advised that this number plate shall be displayed anywhere on the vehicle except the place designated place.

Despite these specifications very clearly laid out, the city traffic authorities seem confused regarding the issue as to what exactly is a proper lawful number plate. Chief Traffic Officer Hussain Habib Imtiaz Gill said that it was permissible to place the number plate on the bumper of the car instead of the designated place. He also said that size of the number plate could vary but as long as it was displayed on the car it was alright.

When contacted, Excise and Taxation Minister Shuja-ur-Rehman said that as per the orders of the court and the rules of the excise department, every vehicle was to display the number plate at the appropriate place and in specified dimensions. The minister confirmed contrary to the CTO’s statement that green number plates for MPAs issued by the Punjab Assembly were only to be used at the designated place.

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