Importance of Proper Documentation while Driving a Vehicle.
This article of mine shall deal with the importance of proper documentation while one drives/rides a vehicle in India. As we all have been driving and riding and have been on the passenger’s seat many a times hence, we surely know the 4 basic yet extremely important documents that the driver/rider of the vehicle should carry at all times and they are:
• Valid Driving License
• Valid Insurance Policy
• Valid PUC
• Registration Certificate
Though we are aware of the above documents but how often do we cross check whether any of them needs to be re-made? How many of us do ever cross check whether the vehicle in which we travel have these above documents in place? Do we ever ask our friends/relatives if their vehicle’s documentation is proper and valid? I believe many of us do let it pass simply because we do not wish to offend our loved ones. However, by avoiding such instances we are promoting and being part of a illegitimate practice of driving. We should not keep our vehicle’s documents updated because of the fear of police or challan rather it should be an inherent principle in your heart and mind that whenever you take your car or bike out on road, their documentation should be in-line and valid at the same time.
I have extensively traveled in cities of UP and Maharasthra and of-course in Delhi. The one thing that I found to be very common in UP specially is the missing documents of the 2 wheeler. Out of 10 two-wheeler stopped by police at check-post, atleast 6-7 of them would either be missing a PUC or a insurance and their best way to get out of such situation is the common practice of obliging the people at check post. This is a really sad state of affairs in my opinion. Secondly, in Delhi, the most common document missing in 2 wheeler is the PUC. Most of the offenders are caught totally unaware of the due date. If one can remember his date with the girlfriend, one can remember his first kiss, then why can’t one remember to update his vehicle’s documentation at the requisite date? Is it necessary to pay a fine of 1000/- for a PUC that is worth a 100/- bucks? Now talking of Mumbai, there I have seen people being bit obedient than Delhi and UP. Though, apart from documentation, they too care two hoots when it comes to riding a 2 wheeler.
Coming to 4 wheeler, Over here the power of the owner works more than logic. The moment a traffic police guy stops to check the papers, immediately a arrogant reply comes out. In four-wheelers too PUC and Insurance are often expired. Also, maximum number of times, the drivers of cabs and some hired chauffeurs carry duplicate license which in itself is a illegal thing. Upon stopping when they are questioned they do not have a reply as they want to protect their original license and ultimately the fault is passed on to the owner. So do make sure, if you have driver at your disposal, keep a check on his license. I would like to state a case of my own relative who visited us in December 2013. They came from Bareilly in their Maruti 800 and at a crossing in Noida they were stopped for checking. Upon checking it was found, their insurance had expired, there was no PUC and they had copy of RC. The driver who came with them was a hired one. Immediately they called me to come and help them. I refused. They managed to get out of it by apologizing to the officer and probably would have paid some fine too. Upon reaching home, I sent my driver and their driver to get the PUC done and next day got the insurance done too. To be honest, by god’s grace, I have this habit of checking my car’s documents every 15-20 days and I simply can’t sit with an expired document in the car whether its mine or a relative/friend’s.
Out of all my cars the most stopped car is the Esteem and I have told my driver to be patient and show the documents when needed. Thankfully, with all documents in place, I have not faced any awkward situation till now. One should be really proactive in keeping a close check on the vehicle’s documentation and renewal dates. Knowing about the requisite documents is just half the knowledge but keeping them updated and checking them periodically is the other important half which is often missing with majority of drivers in India.
So friends, with this small article I have simply tried to put forward a basic rule of driving i.e to always give importance to car’s documentation and never be impatient if you are ever told to stop for document checking.