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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Helpline numbers must on autos Drivers Will Have To Wear ID-Cards With Names, Badge Nos, Photos

 In a bid to rein in errant drivers and help passengers, the regional transport office has decided to make it compulsory for all autos to display the tollfree helpline number on the rear of the vehicles. Moreover, every auto driver will have to wear his identity card—with his name, badge number and photo—failing which he will be fined Rs 100. 

    "The tollfree number (1800-22-0110) will start appearing on all autos," said a Wadala RTO official. The helpline will either be painted in black on the yellow background of a vehicles or pasted like a sticker. "During fitness tests, the registration numbers get a fresh coat of paint. We will now insist that the helpline number be put at the back of all autos, so that it is visible to all," said the official. The move, he said, will help "commuters note down both the registration numbers of vehicles as well as the tollfree number on which they can lodge complaints, if faced with refusals, rude behaviour, flouting of traffic rules, tampered meters and fleecing". They can also lodge plaints if drivers do not wear their uniforms and ID cards. 
    The ID cards, which are replacing badges, have been issued to several auto drivers and the RTO is making it compulsory for all drivers to wear them, which bear the drivers' names, badge numbers and photos. To lodge a complaint, a passenger will have to mention an auto's number, place and date of offence, nature of offence and his personal details. The passenger can also mention the driver's name and badge number, which are available on ID cards. "Since the card is too big, we have laminated them and kept them in the vehicles. We cannot wear this big a card," said a driver. But RTO officials say it is an excuse being used by drivers "People can mention the name and badge number of a driver who refuses to ply or behave arrogantly. This is why drivers want to avoid wearing their ID-cards," an RTO official said. 
    But commuters welcomed the move. "Passengers do not remember the helpline though it keeps appearing in newspapers. It will be great to have it on autos," said Shruti Shah, a commuter. "It will also act as a deterrent to drivers who try to fleece newcomers." An IT professional, who has come to Mumbai recently, said it was frustrating being refused a ride by autos outside Goregaon and Malad stations. "The next time, I will demand for his ID card and note down the tollfree number on the vehicle,"hesaid. 
    If you think you have been cheated by an auto/taxi driver, you can send a written complaint to the Andheri RTO, Four Bungalows, Andheri (W) (for western suburbs) or to Wadala RTO, Wadala Truck Terminal Compound, near IMAX theatre. The complaint should have the auto/taxi's registration number, place and date of offence, nature of offence (rude behaviour, refusal, meter tampering, excess fare) and your personal details 

    It is compulsory for all auto drivers to wear proper uniforms (white for auto owners/khaki for drivers) and badges. They will also be asked to carry their ID cards, from which passengers can easily get their names, registration numbers and badge numbers 
    You can alternately call 1800-22-0110, RTO tollfree helpline, and lodge a verbal complaint on the IVRS system 
    You can demand to see the tariff card to crosscheck the fare asked by an auto driver. It is mandatory for all drivers to keep such cards 
    You can approach a traffic police constable and complain to him on the spot 
    You can also check the fares after downloading Auto Taxi Meter & Card, a mobile app meant for Android phones. It is free and can be downloaded from Google Play Store


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