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City witnesses spike in underage driving

Nina C George, DH News Service Feb 7 2018, 11:28 IST
Violation of traffic rules is rampant near schools and colleges.

Violation of traffic rules is rampant near schools and colleges.

Children taking the wheel is a growing problem across India. A 16-year-old boy driving his father's car mowed down a 25-year-old cook in Delhi last week. In Bengaluru, a minor was killed when he and his friends were racing cars borrowed from their fathers. They crashed on the Hosur Road expressway in September last year.

That's just one of many cases, and the numbers are on the rise. Bengaluru has registered 4,221 cases of underage driving in 2017 alone, a big jump from 1,591 the previous year.

Underage driving mostly takes place in the wee hours of the morning and in the afternoon, after school hours. A senior traffic police inspector says, "The youngest offender we caught last year was 13 and the oldest 17."

The most recent case was a 16-year-old boy driving an SUV rashly on Hebbal flyover last weekend. Underage driving is rampant near Hebbal, Sarjapur, Marathahalli, K R Puram and on Nice Road and Tumkur Road. Boys beat girls when it comes to the offence. "They usually take out vehicles saying they are going for tuition or special classes. They then take the vehicle for a spin," the officer says.

The officer attributes the increasing number of cases to lack of supervision. "Parents should keep tabs on their children. That is where the fault lies," he says.

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