Parents are fined for accidents by underage drivers
Juveniles driving vehicles is a serious offence. In Bengaluru, 4-5 children are injured every day while driving or riding vehicles. These offences also put drivers around them at risk.
M S Prakash, sub-inspector of a Traffic Management Centre, informed The Observer: “Underaged drivers pose a threat to traffic. Young teenagers ride or drive without proper experience and end up in accidents, not only injuring themselves but putting other drivers at risk too. Bengaluru police pay special attention to this matter. The police have to be very careful while making arrests. To escape punishment, children often try to dodge the police. In most of these cases, they end up crashing and injuring themselves severely. At times even police personnel are injured in the process. When a child is arrested for a driving offence, his parents are called and are charged hefty fines. If the offence is severe, the vehicle is permanently seized.”
Recently, three young boys crashed their bike into a divider near Byappanahalli. The youngest of them was 13 years old. The boy riding the bike was rushed to a nearby hospital with a serious neck injury. The other two did not require immediate medical attention. Such cases are not uncommon in areas like Byappanahalli, Kengeri, and Shivajinagar.
According to the traffic police, these cases are dealt with very seriously.
A chief traffic warden, K Mohanan Nambiar, shared: “Parents and locals of an area have the best chance to prevent these accidents. Parents must not allow their children to drive unless they are mature enough to pass driving tests and earn a licence. Youths have a strong desire to learn bike riding. Elders should keep an eye on them while they learn and shouldn’t allow them to go far. While learning, one should not ride a bike on a busy road or a major road. Even though we have installed security cameras around the city, we may not always be able to reach the victims on time. The best solution to this is prevention. This is an issue where parents and locals are the main help the police can rely on.”
JUVENILE DRIVING OFFENCES IN BENGALURU
2017: 5,382 cases
2018: 5,021 cases
2019 (up to Oct. 30): 1,784 cases
Source: Bengaluru Traffic Police
Chandrasekhar K, an autorickshaw driver, shared his experience. “I was completing a trip near Shivajinagar when a bike collided against my auto. Two children on a Bajaj Platina hit the auto from the left side. One of them fell and the other was dragged along with the bike. To my luck, I was able to slam the brakes on time, or else a rear wheel would have rolled over the child’s arm. In accidents like these, people blame the driver of public transport. But in my case, children were involved,” he said.
Sections199A and 199B of the Motor Vehicles Act says that guardians or vehicle owners will be held responsible when an underage person causes an accident. A fine of Rs 25,000 with three years imprisonment will be imposed and the juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act while the registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.