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Despite constant efforts, the Traffic Police in Delhi and its satellite township have not been able to prevent the menace of underage driving.
Two years ago, the Delhi Police had launched a drive to impound vehicles used by minors and wrote challans of Rs.1,000 in the name of their parents. However, due to lack of manpower and arrangements for holding back the children till their guardians came and paid the challan, the drive did not last long.
Now the police are banking on “embarrassing parents/guardians” as a tool to check underage driving. They have started booking the parents of children found driving.
However, this does not seem to be working either as minors continue to drive, especially in places like North-East, West and North Delhi.
With most Delhiites possessing more than one vehicle, including cars and two wheelers, there is a huge chance of children taking up driving at a young age.
Many parents do not have a problem with it, as it comes in handy for meeting routine needs and in case of an emergency. This, according to them, is a situation when someone at home is unwell and needs to be driven to the hospital or is late for their train or a flight.
The law clearly does not permit driving by those under 18 years in any case, even if it is an emergency.
Having tried everything they could, the Traffic Police now believe that only if the parents stop giving vehicles to children before they turn 18 can the menace of underage driving be curbed.
“The issue is that youngsters are driven by impulse and tend to drive fast or get into impromptu racing with each others. In some cases, they are just too young to understand road conditions and their presence on the wheel endangers the lives of others,” said an officer.