What do you do when autodrivers abuse you roundly when you refuse to pay one-and-a-half? We get expert suggestions
Use a book as a weapon: Krav Maga
Franklin Joseph, Krav Maga Bangalore practitioner: “First, don’t get scared. If you are, don’t show it because that would only encourage the harasser to get more aggressive. The idea is to get out of the spat without hassles. Have numbers of friends and family on speed dial.”
A couple of days back, one of our reporters was at the receiving end of the infamous rude behaviour of a Bengaluru autodriver. She was verbally abused and physically manhandled because she refused to pay him the exorbitant excess fare he was demanding. Our otherwise brave reporter was shaken a bit though she stood her ground.
This is not an uncommon scene in the city. A dip-stick survey threw up the following, common instances of bad behaviour by autodrivers, as experienced by the passengers.
- Demanding excess fare.
- Hurling profanities on being refused to pay the excess fare.
- When you tell them you will report them to the cops, they retort saying, they are not afraid and continue abusing the passenger.
- Tampering with the meter and refusing to accept that the meter has been tampered with.
- Charging a passenger extra only because he/she happens to be a non-Kannadiga.
- Abusing the passenger for being a non-Kannadiga.
- Making indecent overtures and gestures at women passengers.
- Refusing to ferry the passenger to the destination of his choice.
Sometimes, the passengers are so shell-shocked by an autodriver’s uncouth manners that they don’t react immediately. How does one deal with this menace? What does one do with errant auto drivers?
Bangalore Mirror asked around for suggestions and here’re some of the answers we got:
Shrinivas Murthy, president, Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union, said: “When you board an auto, see if the driver’s got the display card. If you don’t see it, don’t take that auto. Next, if you find that his meter is wrong or he is talking rudely or harassing
you, simply note down the serial number on the display card and report him.
And what does one do when the autorickshaw driver refuses to go where you want to go? “Don’t wait for them to agree to go where you want to. Instead, board the auto, take down the DL number and tell him where you want to go. He will quietly go where you want to, Murthy said.
Call the control room
Girish, Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, said: “Call the control room number in front of the autodriver. All you need to do is give us your name and the auto registration number. We will immediately file a complaint and take action. Not only will he be fined, we will also recover the excess amount he has charged from you.”
Use a book as a weapon: Krav Maga
Frank J ‘Wolf’, Krav Maga practitioner: “First, don’t get scared. If you are, don’t show it because that would only encourage the harasser to get more aggressive. The idea is to get out of the spat without hassles. Have numbers of friends and family on speed dial.”
“Also make sure that you have something in your hand like a pen or even a magazine, so that you can hit the autodriver if he tries to attack you.”
Assaulting a woman is serious
Demanding additional fare is a violation under road transport laws but harassing a woman and grabbing her hand is a more serious offence punishable under the IPC. In this instance, you should immediately note down the vehicle number and report it to the nearest police station. We are planning and are in talks to have low-cost cab drivers so that we can control the autodriver menace.
— Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner for Transport & Road Safety, Bangalore
Don’t panic: You don’t have to pay more than what the meter shows. And you shouldn’t get scared. Note the details on the display card so that you can complain to the police. You can also take help from another autodriver.
Parameshwar, autodriver for 20 years
Just keep going
If he demands more, just sit in the auto and ask him to keep driving (no matter how far you’ve to go for this) till you sight a traffic cop or a police station. (And then report him).
Nazir Hussain, auto driver for 12 years
Central Traffic Control Room: 2294 3663. They register complaints for Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park, Vyalikaval, High Grounds areas
Traffic Control Room West: 22943030.
Traffic Control Room East: 2294 3131. They register complaints for Madivala, Indiranagar, Koramangala, M G Road areas.
Easy Auto: 9844112233. Save this number right away. Call to register complaints and also to ask for an auto between 7 am to 10 pm. You need to give them the auto registration number, driver’s name and your name and number.
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