Recently, a 32-year old business consultant was killed by a speeding Mercedes car. The car being driven by a teenager hit him when he was crossing the road. In lieu of the incident, the government is back with a proposal in which it is to punish the parents of those children who drive. The government is planning to do this in an effort to reduce the number of accidents committed by teenagers as they get the vehicle to drive, claiming a number of lives.
The government is trying to bring some kind of changes in the Motor Vehicle Act. As a result of the change, the government is trying to bring a provision in which the parents of the child will be charged if the teenage driver meets with an accident. The juveniles who will be involved in such incidents, their parents will be charged and they will be asked to do the community service. Soon there will be a meeting between the road transport ministry and the transport secretaries on April 22, in which the proposal will be discussed.
According to a source, “If a minor is involved, it will be presumed that the parents know and willingly allowed or influenced the child. So, they should be held accountable for allowing the minor to drive.” The government is yet to decide what kind of punishment will be given to parents and also the duration of the community service which the juvenile will be doing, all this will be discussed in the coming meeting.
It further added, “Since road transport is on the concurrent list, states will have to agree. If there is unanimity, a decision will be taken at the April 29 meeting of the empowered group of state transport ministers reviewing road safety.”
The existing law says that the owner or the person who is in charge of the vehicle can be penalized for allowing any unauthorized person like that of a minor to drive and a fine of Rs. 1,000 is to be payable and also jail for three months. But, in case the vehicle is under the name of a company or any organization, then the parents cannot be charged for this.
In the recent accident, the juvenile board rejected the bail application of the boy saying that earlier also, he has been involved in a case of rash driving and the parents need to be taught a lesson. Later, the boy was freed on bail as he was booked only under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code. Besides that, his father was also arrested under section 304 for letting his minor son drive despite knowing the fact that he has also been accused earlier.