Taking the heat against underage driving a step higher, Hyderabad Traffic Police has reportedly put as many as 69 parents (fathers) of underage drivers and riders behind the bar in last one month. The traffic police in the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, as a part of its campaign against underage driving, caught and fined minors in the age group of 14-16 years for using a four-wheeler, two-wheeler, and in some cases, even a three-wheeler, without a driving license.
This is not the first time either. This has happened earlier too in Hyderabad, and in several other states, police and courts are considering the question of whether to put parents of underage drivers and riders in jail or not. Our guess? It is going to spread to the rest of the country very soon. Irresponsible parents, beware!
Moreover, fathers of the 69 teenagers that have been found guilty were produced before the local magistrates, who sent them to the jail for a period ranging from one-day to as many as three days. The court also imposed heavy fines for the violation of rules. The Hyderabad Traffic Police launched a drive against underage driving in early-February to bring down the road fatalities involving minor drivers. “We have been imposing fines through the courts for the past two years. But it did not have desired impact (against underage driving). Following the series of road mishaps involving minors we went severely against minor driving,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) A V Ranganath said.
“We invoked the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and requested local courts citing various Supreme Court judgments that minor driving should be treated seriously as it not only endangers lives of minor drivers but of others also and the courts were convinced of our requests,” he further added. The parents of underage drivers/riders are being booked under the section 180 of the Motor Vehicle Act for allowing unauthorized persons to drive a motor vehicle. Furthermore, the underage drivers have been booked under section 181 of the Act for driving without a license. Out of the minor drivers that have been prosecuted so far, three have been sent to juvenile homes.
The DCP claims that his drive against minor drivers has been applauded by the citizens. Apparently, they have even congratulated the Hyderabad Traffic Police for being strict as it is likely to deter minors from getting behind the wheel. “This drive (against underage driving) will continue till this year-end and we want to stabilize it,” Ranganath said.