Chennai’s Thirumangalam traffic police, in what they claim is a first in the city, has booked the mother after a 16-year-old rammed his Bajaj Pulsar 200 CC bike into a pedestrian on Wednesday, killing him on the spot. The boy, a Class 11 student from Chennai, sustained head injuries after the accident and died later the same day.
According to the police, the minor was riding his bike, with a classmate riding pillion, and were on their way to a tuition class at Thirumangalam when the accident occurred. The bike hit 42-year-old Babu near Ambattur Estate road, killing him on the spot,
"The bike hit Babu and then rammed into a tree. The pedestrian, on sustaining head injuries, died on the spot. The minor too sustained severe head injuries and was rushed to a hospital. He later passed away at Apollo Hospital on Greams Road, where he was shifted to. His classmate survived with minor injuries and received treatment as an outpatient," said Special SI Thirumangalam Traffic police, Dhanasekharan.
The police have registered a case against the minor’s mother, Meena, under Section 181 of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
"The bike was registered in her name and so action will be taken against the mother. The accused is not yet under remand as the family is still grieving the loss of their son," said Dhanasekharan.
According to the Motor Vehicles Act (CMV Act), it is unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to drive a motor vehicle in a public place. However, persons older than 16 are allowed to drive motor vehicles not exceeding an engine capacity of 50 CC (non-geared vehicles) in a public place, with their parent's consent.
Earlier this month, in a strong message, a Hyderabad magisterate court sent 10 parents to prison for one day, for letting their minor children drive. In what was reported to be a first, a 14-year-old was also sentenced to remand for one day in a juvenile home.
A penalty of Rs 500 was also slapped on the parents, under Section 180 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
“If police book ten more such cases continuously, and if the court jails all of them, then we will surely see a change in parents as well as in the minors,” Vinod Kumar Kanumala, a road safety expert, was quoted as saying.
In 2015, the Karnataka High Court too asked police to book parents of minors who are driving/riding, as per a report in Bangalore Mirror. Under section 184, parents can be sent to jail for six months or fined up to Rs 1,000, or both.