Published: 11th March 2020
Under Kerala Govt's 'Operation Chunks' to curb underage driving, parents to face action including jail time
The officials said a one-day awareness class at the Institute of Driver Training and Research at Edappal, Malappuram, will also be made mandatory for the erring parents and children
Parents letting their underaged children take their two-wheelers out for a spin are likely to face action, including jail time.
The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has decided to extend 'Operation Chunks', a project it successfully tried out at Perumbavoor, across the district to crack down on underaged drivers and riders. The move comes following people's complaints of rash and negligent driving by school students.
“Between January and March, several colleges and schools celebrate annual day, college day and conduct tours. On such occasions, many school and college students come to their institutions on motorcycles. However, some of them put the lives of others at risk due to rash driving. We received several such complaints based on which we decided to extend the initiative across the district,” said G Ananthakrishnan, RTO (Enforcement), Ernakulam.
He said parents are also to be blamed. “In most cases, minor children are using the vehicles with their parents' permission. So, if we intercept any underaged drivers, we can send their parents to jail for three months and slap `25,000 a fine on them as per the new amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act,” he said.
The officials said a one-day awareness class at the Institute of Driver Training and Research at Edappal, Malappuram, will also be made mandatory for the erring parents and children.
Warning to schools
MVD officials have also asked schools and colleges to check whether their students are using motorcycles. “If schools and colleges inform us about such violations, we can initiate swift action,” Ananthakrishnan said. He said accidents involving minors were witnessing a rise in the district.
Action against 35 students
During the drives carried out under 'Operation Chunks' at Perumbavoor under Joint RTO B Shafiq, action was initiated against 35 students. “Due to back-to-back drives, we were able to bring down the number of underaged drivers in the area. If parents take strict action, underage driving can be controlled,” Shafiq said.