Underage driving is a major offence in India. However, there are many underage people, especially in the Tier-II and Tier-III cities and even in the villages where the cops do not impose rules strictly. Some people start riding a motorcycle and driving really early. Here is an example from Maharashtra.
We are not sure about the exact location of this video. However, the video shows two cops with a youngster, who seems like 8 to 10 years old only. The cops who were on patrol on their own motorcycle caught the kid on the public road riding a motorcycle.
After getting caught, the kid started crying loudly and asked the cops to let him go. The cops also scare the kid saying that they will put him in jail. After warning the kid of the consequences of underage driving and what will happen if he gets caught again, they ask him to ride the motorcycle and show them.
The kid then confidently starts the motorcycle using self-start and then takes a U-Turn. He quickly leaves from the spot and the cops have a good laugh. No challans were issued in this situation and the kid was let go with only a warning.
2016 Motor Vehicles Act addresses minor age driving
The Motor Vehicle Amendment in 2016 passed the provision where parents of minors can be awarded punishment. There can be up to three years in jail or a fine of Rs. 25,000 or both at the same time. Since the new amendment, there have been multiple occasions where the cops have arrested and even jailed the parents of the underage riders.
In most incidents, the cops either slap a high-value challan on the parents of the underage motorists or put them in jail. The new amendment suggests that it is the parents who should be held responsible if the minors are caught.
Minors driving a vehicle on public roads is a major crime and the cops can take strict actions against the defaulters. A minor driving on the road is illegal and hence, not covered by any insurance policy. Also, a minor getting involved in accidents can become a complicated case.
Enforcement mostly in major cities and towns
The strict enforcement of the traffic laws and acts are mostly done in the big cities and towns where the volume of traffic is much higher compared to the developing towns. Many villages and town do not even have a traffic police department that can enforce the laws all the time on public roads.
This is why most such incidents happen away from the major cities and towns in India. In the future, with the rising volume of vehicles in the country, we are sure that the strict enforcement of the laws will be much more uniform across the country.