The traffic police have said parents and guardians should ensure their teenage children don’t get behind the wheel before the legal driving age limit.
This follows the accident on Sunday evening, when a teenaged boy driving a Tata Safari SUV (MH 04 BM 3067) knocked down four children at Kurla, killing one. The driver fled the scene and had not been identified or traced until late Sunday night.
The deceased, identified as Asif Khan (11), along with his sister Fatima (8) and two other boys Rihan Choudhary (12) and Shirazuddin Qazi (18), who were injured, were standing near an ice-candy cart outside Karwa Society at Kapadia Nagar, when the teenager, believed to be aged around 17, crashed into the cart, dragging it into the compound. He hit Khan who was riding a bicycle and Fatima and the other two who were playing inside the compound. Khan was taken to Bhabha Hospital where he was declared dead on admission.
His vehicle dragged the cart and Khan inside the compound wall before hitting the balcony grill of a ground floor flat.
“I was standing beside the cart when I saw a vehicle coming at high speed from the parallel road opposite the building — the driver seemed to be no more than 17 years old,” said Kalpanath Nisad (35), the cart owner and only witness to the accident.
Police have booked the unidentified boy for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and rash and negligent driving. They have stepped up action against racing and speeding bikers at the Bandra seafront. “It is up to parents and building security to watch children who attempt to drive off with their parents’ cars,” said Ashok Takalkar, assistant commissioner of police (Traffic).
Takalkar said the only way to curb such incidents is to punish parents and guardians of children who cause driving accidents. In Mumbai, the owner of a vehicle driven by a minor and involved in an accident is punishable under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.