Poll | Who should be blamed for rising cases of underage driving?

  • New Delhi, HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2016 16:23 IST
Family members and friends of Siddharth Sharma protest at Central Park in New Delhi. (HT Photo)

Siddharth Sharma, a 32-year-old IT professional and the son of a retired navy officer, was killed last week after being struck by a speeding Mercedes in north Delhi’s Civil Lines area. Soon after the accident, Sharma’s family released the CCTV camera footage of the hit-and-run incident that showed him being flung at least 15 metres into the air after being hit by the car.

Witnesses said that they saw a group of young boys stepping out of the car and fleeing the scene, leaving the vehicle at the spot after the accident. Police recorded eyewitnesses’ accounts and scanned dozens of CCTV grabs to ascertain the identity of the errant driver, who turned out to be a businessman’s 17-year old son. The boy was apprehended last Tuesday and later released on bail as per legal provisions.

Last year, on February 16, the juvenile allegedly rammed his car into a fruit vendor, and hit another car in the process, in northwest Delhi’s Maurice Nagar area. Police, however, did not lodge a case and let him go after issuing a warning to his father. The Class 12 student had mowed down Sharma with the same vehicle.

The nominal fine of Rs 100 is all one pays for violations that cause 60% of all road fatalities in India. The penalty has remained unchanged since 1988.

Also, many parents don’t even consider the possible consequences of handing over keys to their cars and two-wheelers to their children before they turn 18, the legal age for driving a motorised vehicle in India.

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