Menace Of Underage Driving - Eastern Mirror
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Menace of Underage Driving

By The Editorial Team Updated: May 23, 2024 11:41 pm

Last weekend’s Porsche crash in Pune that killed two software engineers has drawn national attention, with the sequence of events that happened after the incident giving more room for questions than answers. The Juvenile Justice Board of Pune received flak from various quarters for granting bail to the teenager accused of driving a Porsche car in an inebriated state, just hours into the accident. The delay in conducting a blood alcohol test also raised many eyebrows.

The Juvenile Justice Board later took a U-turn by cancelling the bail and remanding the accused to an observation home till June 5, but not before shaking the faith of the public and consolidating the general notion that people from influential families could get away with crime. This should have been avoided. In the meantime, the police did a good job by promptly arresting the teenager’s father, who is a real estate developer, on charges of giving car to his underage son and allowing him to party despite knowing his drinking habit, as well as detaining the owner and staff of two pubs for serving alcohol to the minor. However, that won’t stop people from asking if there were attempts to defend the accused, whether the authorities would promptly initiate action on the matter if not for the public outcry, and if it could be an isolated case.

Though a serious offence under the law of the land, underage driving is rampant and often the cause of road accidents, including fatal ones. In Nagaland too, it is not uncommon to see students in school uniforms riding motorbikes with gear and young people, who appear to be in their teens, behind the wheel. This needs to be seriously addressed. But to nip it in the bud, parents should be more responsible and the authorities should ensure that driving rules are strictly followed. One also needs to know that, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, the owner of a vehicle, usually parents, will face legal action if a minor is caught driving. The offence is punishable by up to three years imprisonment, a fine and the cancellation of registration of the vehicle for more than 10 years. As for drunk driving, offenders are punishable by six months to seven years of imprisonment along with a fine, based on the severity of the offence. In this case, too, the guardian or owner of the vehicle is held responsible for the offence committed by the minor. Ironically, alcohol is prohibited in Nagaland but cases of drunk driving are common. While parents should not allow the underage to drive vehicles, those of legal drinking age should set a good example for children by not driving under the influence of alcohol, not even within the legal blood alcohol content limit of 0.03%. This can reduce road accidents significantly and save lives.

By The Editorial Team Updated: May 23, 2024 11:41:31 pm
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