The city is already reeling under the pressure of errant traffic and helmet-less riders who are indifferent to the law and road safety. Adding to this, is the huge menace of underage riders and drivers inundating the city roads.
This city with its enormous young populations has given way to several underage riders and drivers on the roads. Forget the law, they are often rash and are the cause of several accidents too.
“In such situations, parents are the one to be held responsible,” says Mahesh Kale, a Sasane Nagar resident.
“It is obvious that if you do not hold a valid license and wear a helmet, you cannot drive a two-wheeler, this is the law. Why it is difficult for parents to make their kids understand this law?
You have house rules, and these are the rules of the state that a child below 18 has to follow. If not, get them a vehicle less than 50CC and let them ride it if they are 16.
The fact that there are many drivers already on the roads without a legitimate license; how sensible is adding these minors to increase the traffic chaos is the city, risking their own and other’s lives,” Kale adds.
Peer pressure is the main reason why parents bow down to the illogical requests of their kids.
For the record, The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 states that one has to be above 16 years of age to ride a gearless motorcycle (up to 50cc) and above 18 years of age to ride other vehicles (motorcycle with gear and a car). One needs a Learner’s License to learn driving and a permanent Driving License once the training is complete.
Proving testimony to this, Reena Salian, a home chef says, “No one wants to risk their kids in the already dangerous traffic situations in Pune, but, kids today are not very cooperative and do not reason with their parents.
My son who is in 10th standard finds it weird to be dropped by his mother to the school in a scooty.
Travelling by bus is another ‘no no’ given the pathetic conditions and we cannot afford to hire a taxi aggregator for everyday commute. In such situations, either you get him a vehicle to commute or see him throw all kinds of tantrums, spoil his health and the environment of the house,” Reena quips.
This concern has been a bane for the city for a while now, In her recent article with Pune365, city based RTI activist and journalist, Vinita Deshmukh pens down her take on why Pune Must Rein In Underage Driving.
“Pune seems to be running a blind eye to this dangerous menace, while cities like Hyderabad have come down heavily on such cases after a spate of near fatal accidents involving children.
Pune’s over-indulgent parents seem to have found a new way of pampering their teenage children, by allowing them to drive and ride on the city’s roads. Gleefully permitting their children to drive cars and ride powerful motorbikes is nothing short of throwing caution to the wind and brazenly at that.”
#First published in February 2019. Reproduced in public interest.
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