Police say that more children have stepped out during the lockdown to buy groceries.
Gurugram: Gurugram traffic police have recorded a five-fold increase in underage driving challans issued in 2020. Data by the police shows that 149 challans were issued this year as compared to 30 challans in 2019.
Ramesh Kumar, ACP Traffic West said the reason for the increase in challans is that children have been stepping out to buy groceries during the lockdown.
“During the lockdown, parents have sent their children to buy groceries and other household stuff. In 60 percent of the cases children have the consent of their parents,” he said.
According to the NCRB Crime in India report 2019, 50 juvenile rash driving cases were reported in Haryana.
In a recent incident of underage driving, a 16-year-old was allegedly involved in a road accident that killed a 49-year-old biker, Alok Gupta in Cyber City. The incident resulted in a protest by the friends and family of Gupta, seeking a ban on underage driving.
Kavita Mittal (name changed), a mother of a 17-year-old, said she allows her child to drive a two-wheeler only to nearby places.
“We only allow our children to drive till school, tuition, or to the nearby market with proper safety gear. Now with classes being held online even that has reduced to till the market only. Also, we can’t always control our children. They get influenced by their friends and it gets difficult to handle them,” said Mittal.
Rajeev Srivastava, a resident of Palam Vihar said he is very particular about rules and doesn’t allow his children to drive vehicles and tries to make them aware of the drawbacks of underage driving.
“I have two daughters. The younger one is 17 and she is learning to drive. She is not allowed to drive without elder supervision. Even my elder daughter, who is 23, is not allowed to drive the car without my supervision. Until and unless I am assured that she can handle it perfectly, I won’t allow her to take the car out by herself,” said Srivastava.
R.P. Gautam, retired ACP, Delhi Police, said “Children are very demanding now. There is a need to educate them as well as their parents. But even after much awareness, minors are still driving vehicles.”