Some women feel the child locks would be successful in preventing attacks on women.
By Sahana S
Bengaluru, Jan. 24, 2019.
Despite the Karnataka transport department’s order to disable child locks in commercial vehicles, women in the city continue to feel unsafe.
“The removal of child locks does not ensure women’s safety. If the driver is a creep, then the presence or absence of child lock does not matter. The rule needs to be properly enforced,” said Anukrithi Ganesh, a cab user, informed The Observer.
Some women feel the removal of child locks will help passengers to escape mishaps but will not prevent attacks on them.
Aarthi M, a former HR executive, said: “The removal of child locks cannot guarantee the safety of women passengers in vehicles. Though it is regarded as a safety measure, it won’t help in the elimination of violence against women.”
Others insist that instead of being asked to remove child locks, the government must insist that cab companies perform strict background checks on the drivers before appointing them.
“Although I haven’t encountered any such situations, there is no point in disabling child locks. Instead Uber, Ola and other commercial cabs must do background checks before giving permits to drivers. If done meticulously, it can help reduce violence against women,” Anjali S, income tax officer who travels by Ola to her office, said.
Some cabbies can also procure fake child lock removal certificates.
“I cannot ensure whether commercial vehicles have removed child lock or not. So while travelling during the night hours, I prefer buses,” Felicita Dizoza, an employee of Accenture, said.
However, deputy commissioner of the Regional Transport Office (East Division) Mahaveer Y Annigeri said: “We have already started to check the vehicles from January 1 and would ensure they remove child locks from their vehicles. We have given an extension of a few days to the drivers of commercials cabs and taxis. After that, they would be fined Rs 5,000 if officers catch them. We initiated a campaign at the Kempegowda International Airport on safety measures for women passengers. We removed child locks from nearly 400 taxis.”
Cab drivers are unhappy with the decision. They have problems regarding the implementation of the new rule.
“Mere disabling of child locks won’t ensure the safety of women passengers . Even after receiving certificates the drivers can reinstall child locks by paying Rs 4000 to mechanics. Moreover, in a moving cab, if children meddle with the cab door, there might be a chance of mishaps in the absence of a child lock,” argues Munna S, who works for a car rental service.
To ensure the safety of the lone women passengers, the Ministry of Road transport and highways recently announced that child locks should be removed from transport vehicles, including private taxis and app-based cabs by July.