Motorbikes give boys the mobility to travel far without the knowledge of parents

A few days ago, students riding motorcycles were stopped by the district police for rash and negligent driving on the New Natham Road. The police called their parents and sensitised them to the risks faced by “under-aged” boys riding motorcycles.

Probably, one of the parents took the advice lightly and failed to keep a watch on his son. And this has cost him dearly. For the boy has been admitted to hospital with severe head injuries after he met with a road accident. “If the parents had taken adequate care, they could have avoided such an accident,” Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said. He felt that parents should dissuade their wards, aged less than 18 years, from riding motorcycles, especially sports bikes with high- speed engines, and from driving cars.

“We cannot blame students for being adventurous. But the parents have to be more responsible in safeguarding their wards and others on the road,” the SP noted.

A total of 60 persons were killed in Madurai rural district in 2011 in 51 road accidents involving youth in the age group of 18 to 20 years. They were either riding bikes or driving cars and other vehicles. The number of persons injured in such accidents is much higher. Around 263 men and 68 women were injured in 188 road accidents in the same year, according to statistics provided by the district police.

What is more worrisome for police is that the results of the 10th and Plus Two public examinations were due to be announced. Many parents would have promised to buy a new motorcycle if their children met their expectations by securing high marks.

The police believe that adolescents owning bikes and cars could spend their pocket money to buy alcohol. “Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination,” he cautioned.

Motorcycles dramatically increased the mobility of the young and to travel long distances without the knowledge of their parents. In one such incident earlier this month, a 10th standard boy from Sellur drowned in a well at Chathirapatti while taking a dip with his friends.

Mr. Balakrishnan stressed that school teachers had an important role in educating the students on the dangers of driving at a premature stage in their lives.

Though schools prohibit students from riding bikes, enforcing the ban is a challenge for authorities.

During the annual report distribution programme at a city school recently, the first instruction that came to the parents from the coordinator of a middle school was that the students should not be allowed to ride motorbikes during holidays.

“This is the age (early teenage) the students are tempted to ride bikes. We do not want to lose our children. Kindly ensure that they have no access to bikes,” the teacher told the parents.

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