OF late much has been written in your newspaper regarding unregistered vehicles or fake number plates and crime. It is an undeniable fact that most perpetrators of crime are either on motorcycles or cars.
It, therefore, makes eminent sense to ensure that every single vehicle on the road is registered to its correct owner and is quickly identified as lost or stolen, if so.
The first step would be to ensure that the Excise and Taxation Department issues standard number plates to every vehicle immediately at the time of registration, and not months later as is the case currently. Ideally, the provincial and federal governments should ensure that a system for integrated automatic number plate registration is adopted (ANPR). As I understand it, this system would only cost a few hundred rupees a number plate but would be readily scannable by a hand - held device, which would instantly identify lost or stolen cars or those which are not registered at all. At present many cars purporting to be the government’s (green number plate) cars have fake registrations.
Once these vehicles and their users are traceable, a big facility for the perpetrators of crime would be denied to them. Right now we are fighting a terrifying nexus of criminal gangs and terrorists and we should not delay such a move.
If the Excise and Taxation Department cannot keep up with issuing the number plates etc when payment is made, the service should be put to a transparent tender and outsourced. Why should tax - payers have to wait cap in hand to receive what they have paid for?
Government functionaries should have exactly the same type of number plate as ordinary citizens and they should all be traceable. Given the loose governance, it is all too easy for anyone to put on a green or blue number plate and purport to be a policeman or government official.
The system is being abused and must be abolished. In all well - governed countries the most senior government functionaries have ordinary number plates. This is the reason for it.
Additionally, we must ensure that the traffic police are given every support and encouragement when checking for fake number plates be they purporting to be in the use of government servants, the judiciary or even the police themselves. No one who has got the right credentials should object to the checking since it is for our own good.