A magistrate court in Hyderabad, is sending parents who let their minor children drive vehicles, to jail for a day. In the month of February alone, 45 parents were jailed and 1,079 cases of driving by minors were registered as part of traffic police’s campaign against underage driving. Just last Thursday, the magistrate court put ten parents behind the bars. With increasing incidences of rash driving and accidents involving minors, this move should become an example for the rest of the country. It’s high time people realise why minor steering vehicles comes at a big cost.

Doting parents do not think twice before giving vehicles to their children, whose brains are as developed as their driving skills.

If you have ever had the misfortune of driving on Indian streets, you know how bad the situation is. Time and again you are cut on a crowded road by a boy who is yet to sprout a moustache, riding so fast on his motorcycle, that his t-shirt stands a risk of getting blown away from his wiry frame. The casualty on my side, of course, is the loss of temper and on their part its an adventure to see how fast they can go, and how many signals they can jump, without stopping or slowing down.

This problem is present across all socio-economic strata in our country. While the poor and middle-class parents find no harm in letting their minor wards drive gear-less scooters and motorcycles, the rich go one step ahead and give fastest four wheelers conceived on this planet in the hands of under-developed reflexes.

Naturally, no one cares to teach traffic rules to them, or warn them on the consequences of speeding, lane cutting, or driving under influence. Most of these children drive without helmets braving both traffic lights and policemen, who turn a blind eye to them, until someone gets hurt. And that happens very often.

The blame lies here mainly with parents who toss the keys of vehicles to their minor children, without considering the consequences of their actions.

Even if you give a child proper education about traffic rules and regulations, he or she is unfit to drive on counts of being underage. By letting minors drive parents not only put their ward’s lives, but also those of other innocent commuters at risk.

Since such parents do not understand the value of life, maybe they would understand the language of punishment.

I only wish stricter action against such parents is taken all over our country. It is the only way to keep both our streets and children safe from mishaps caused by immature drivers. I understand that in our fast-paced lives, vehicles save a lot of time for us. It is always convenient and saves time, especially in tier two cities, which lack proper public transport. But if you want your child to be on time for his tuition, then please take out time to drive them yourselves, or hire a driver.

Show love to your children by teaching them value of life, and respect for law. Inculcate good driving skills and traffic sense in your children. Make sure that your children are of legal age before handing them keys of that car you bought so lovingly for them.

picture Credit: indianexpress.com

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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