Cops launch crackdown on fancy number plates in Berhampur

Berhampur: Several motorists have been penalilsed for using fancy number plates in this south Odisha city where police launched a surprise check drive.

“The drive will continue. At least one day in a week surprise checks will be conducted at any place in the town,” said SP (Berhampur) Sarthak Sarangi, adding “Now we are concentrating only on two-wheeler”.

Vehicle owners would be fined if they violate Motor Vehicles Act pertaining to number plates. It includes colour of the letter, font, size, dimension of the plate and clarity.

“In the first offence, Rs 100 would be collected. If the offender repeats it, he wil be fined Rs 300,” Sarangi said.

According to rules, every two wheeler and three-wheeler must have a number plate of 200×100 mm size. The light motor vehicles such as cars have to have 340×200 mm and heavy commerical vehicles 340×200 mm plates.

Similarly, the rectangular number plate must be written in English in the front and rear of a vehicle. Mopeds and bikes of less than 70cc should flash front alphabets of 15mm height and numerals of 2.5mm width with 2.5mm space. The size of letters of rear number plates should be 35mm high and the numbers 7mm wide with 5mm space, sources said.

“The number plates should not carry any name, photo or stylish fonts,” said regional transport officer (Ganjam) S.K. Biswal. But many vehicle owners are seen installing fancy number plates and even some have names and phrases, he said.

At times, chain snatchers and robbers use two-wheelers with fancy number plates. It helps them escape from the spot before anyone can read the number of the vehicle, said a police officer.

Several people are upset over the sudden launch of the drive. “We welcome it, but the drive should be launched after creating awareness about different regulations regarding the number plate,” said a vehicle owner.

The RTO, however, said they sensitised people about it during the Road Safety Week in January.