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Laws on number plates being ignored

Traffic laws are violated regularly in Mumbai and more surprising is that some of the laws under the Motor Vehicles Rules of 1998 are quite ignored by the city's traffic police. Clear regulations on the size and specifications of number plates on vehicles are not being enforced in the city.

Traffic police seldom check for these irregularities, though they do sometimes they fine drivers for unclear and illegible number plates. Mooshtaq Singh, the chief traffic officer, said that "motorists with number plates that are not legible are fined". Other number plates that are not easy to decipher due to illegal fonts, colour, size and reflective backgrounds are often penalised by the authorities, he said. He added that this can pose a problem when there is a hit and run case or other traffic violations and the number plates of the offender cannot be read.

Transport Chairman, Sunil Dravid said that "since number plates are a low value fine and are therefore given a lower priority". The transport department has a duty to make sure that the police are checking the legality of number plates, he said.

Number plate makers in the city say that they make the plates to the specifications of their customers.

Ajit Amarnath, A solicitor in the city says, "I bought the car and it came with the number plates from the showroom, and if the dealer follows the rules then I automatically do, if not then neither do I, even if unwittingly".