A regulatory Act of 2009 enforced by the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) is thrown to the winds as vehicles continue to use tinted/dark windshields and glasses while many ignore the need to use standardized number plates.
This, according to the RSTA is because most motorists are not aware of the existence of such regulations. Officials at the same time said a few drivers disregard the rule even if they know about it.
The RSTA rules are mainly implemented for the safety of the people. The foremost motive of having standardized number plates in each vehicle is that the RSTA won’t have any trouble identifying the numbers of the vehicles during hit-and-run cases at accident sites.
The current trend of having italics number plates in vehicles is making it difficult for people on the road or officials to clearly distinguish the numbers.
The tinted or dark car windows pose difficulty for the road officials to see inside the vehicles to check on the carrying capacity of vehicles, or for law officials to detect illegal goods.
The dark car windows also provide cover for criminal activities, and such crimes may go undetected as well.
This is a pertinent issue as drink driving and the possibility of rape cannot be ruled out, especially with late night partying and vehicle movement on the rise.
Visually offending graphics and largely painted or printed stickers that scream socially offending and embarrassing slogans are also against the RSTA rules.
These rules are mandatory for all vehicle users, but the RSTA found out that some drivers are still unaware of the rules.
According to the base in-charge in RSTA Mr. Nado, when vehicles are brought in for the road-worthiness inspection, the drivers bring them in full fitness and get the road-worthiness certificates, but the very next day some drivers change the colour of the car windows, the style of their number plates, and tend to stick all kinds of stickers on the vehicle body.
“So now, what the RSTA does is, we impose a penalty of Nu 750 if any of these rules are broken,” he said.
From now, the new rule is that the road fitness certificate will only be issued if there is a standardized number plate with bold letters, no usage of dark car windows, and designs on the body of the vehicle.
Sonam Wangmo / Thimphu