Minors zip on roads, parents get tickets in Chandigarh

Minors zip on roads, parents get tickets in Chandigarh

Here’s something different the Chandigarh cops have got onto to check underage children  driving on seamless city roads. They have started 'booking' the daddies sitting in offices for allowing his underage son or daughter to drive on roads.

So far, only the ones driving the vehicle were issued penalty slips by traffic cops. But that didn’t help much. A meagre fine for driving without a valid licence was little deterrent to check minors clipping on the city roads without fear of law. Now, the vehicle owners, mostly moms and dads, who let their underage children to drive around the city are being taken to task. 

At least 40 parents have been issued challans for allowing unauthorised persons to drive on the roads. A provision in the Motor Vehicle Act, which has seldom been used, is what has empowered the city police to check the violation. The provision provides for imprisonment for the person who allows an unauthorised person to drive the vehicle.

The police have sent these 40 cases to a local court seeking action against parents. Violators could even face imprisonment for a period that may extend up to three months or a fine up to Rs 1,000, or even both. The vehicle, off course, will be impounded.

The magnitude of underage riding in Chandigarh is evident inside and outside parking lots in schools, especially the ones up to class X, where a student’s age is around 15 years and by no means is authorised to drive a vehicle to school. Scores of two-wheelers, cars and jeeps parked in schools reflect the utter disregard for safety rules. That’s about to change as the police tighten the noose around arguably callous parents.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Vijay Kumar said this drive would be a regular feature now. He said the police would start impounding all such vehicles in  minors’ possession.  “Their parents are going to be taken to  court for being party to the violation,” he added.

Given the force being deployed for this drive, at least two dozen special squad
vehicles on roads, the cops are hoping their efforts will yield dividends. The drive targeting schoolchildren is in full steam during morning and afternoon when educational institutions open and close. What’s more. School authorities in the city have already begun counseling parents not to allow underage driving. Diary notes in this regard are being sent home for parents to take cognisance before it is too late. The cops have also invited suggestions from members on its facebook page.   

Also, the Punjab and Haryana High Court is mulling over if the passport or driving licence of someone found driving after drinking can be cancelled. The High Court was entertaining a PIL on drunken driving. In the wake of the city police nabbing guzzlers on roads, many of the city hotels have now offered free cab service to drop people home who wish to drink and their enjoy hospitality..

This way not only would they avoid cops but also save lives. Some city youth are also offering chauffer service, albeit at a reasonable cost, outside taverns and hotels in the city to safely drop drunk men back home. These youth return on  three-wheelers or rickshaws after dropping.

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