Watch out parents: Minor driving car, riding bike can land you in big trouble

  • Letting your underage child operate a vehicle can put you in a legal soup. Here is how.
Child car
Driving with your child can be one of the simplest pleasures of life. Letting your child drive? Not so much.
Child car
Driving with your child can be one of the simplest pleasures of life. Letting your child drive? Not so much.

If you thought letting your underage son or daughter go for a fun spin in your car or on your two-wheeler can be harmless, you thought wrong. It is also something that can land you in trouble as authorities across the country are cracking down on underage driving.

In the aftermath of the Pune Porsche accident on May 17 of this year, the spotlight is once again on underage driving in the country which is illegal. Any person below the age of 18 is not allowed to drive a car or ride a two-wheeler and cannot even apply for a license for one. But this law is often flouted and the consequences can be severe not just for the person behind the wheel but for parents and the owner of the vehicle. In fact, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police Commissionerate recently issued a stern warning to parents that measures such as a fine of up to 25,000, legal action and even suspension of vehicle registration can be initiated.

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Also Read : Noida traffic police issues stern warning to parents

What does the law say about underage driving?

Section 181 of the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) deals with the issues of driving without a license and underage driving. According to Section 4 under it, no person under the age of 18 is permitted to drive a motor vehicle. The only small exception here is that a scooter up to 50cc can be operated by someone 16 years of age and above. Additionally, no person under 20 is allowed to operate a transport vehicle.

Can you be penalised for your child's mistake?

Under Section 199A of the MVA, a parent or parents or guardians can face punishment if his or her minor son or daughter commits a motor vehicle offence. Even the recent warning issued by Gautam Buddh Nagar Police Commissionerate serves as a reminder. "Parents and guardians are being cautioned not to allow their children to use two-wheelers or four-wheelers. The traffic police will be conducting rigorous checks as part of this enforcement campaign. Any violations detected will be met with strict action under Section 199A of the Motor Vehicles Act," the police said.

Also Read : Luxury car accidents put dismal spotlight on India's complex road realities

What is Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita and what does it say about underage driving?

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita has replaced the Indian Penal Code and came into effect from July 1. While extensive in scope, it also has provisions for motorists and brings with it stricter punishments for offences like hit-and-run or rash driving.

As far as underage driving is concerned, Section 125 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita outlines fines up to 25,000 and cancellation of the vehicle's registration for 12 months if a minor is caught flouting the law. He or she can also be declared ineligible for a driving license until the age of 25.

The penalties and punishments can be significantly more severe if the minor is involved in an accident while driving or riding a vehicle, whether or not it causes injuries or casualties.

First Published Date: 11 Jul 2024, 15:03 PM IST
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