Wednesday’s accident at Churchgate in which a 74-year-old businessman was knocked down by a 17-year-old driver has prompted police to launch a crackdown on underage drivers. Starting Monday, police teams will tour all south Mumbai colleges to check credentials of owners of cars parked on and around
Officials said they would start checking cars on campuses, and then verify the details of their owners. “We would first check if the student who has brought the car to the college is a juvenile, following which, we would check the documents of the car. We would take strict action against those, who are found to be ineligible and are driving illegally,” said Dr Ravindra Shisve, deputy commissioner of police (zone I).
Since Friday, police have been stopping motorists and bikers on Marine Drive to check if they have valid licences. “We have fixed spots on the stretch where we have began stopping and checking people. We do check if they are underage, and also if they have all the required documents,” said Zhunzarrao Gharal, senior inspector with Marine Drive police station.
Meanwhile, the family of the hit-and-run victim Sampat Maroo has raised serious questions over the safety of elderly persons living in the area. "Every morning, the Marine Drive promenade is packed with joggers and senior citizens. Many of the elderly begin their daily routine at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) ground and return home,” said Sangeeta Boopna, daughter of Sampat Maroo.
“If anybody is going to drive rashly on the clogged road and is going to be let off after committing such terrible offence with meager fine, what signal are we sending out,” Sangeeta asked.
Maroo’s family members said that since cars are parked on either side of the road and there is continuous traffic, it often becomes difficult for pedestrians to cross the road.
“Laws dealing with juvenile offenders need to be strengthened. There has to be a fear in the mind of a minor if he is taking law into his hand. Any minor who commits a serious crime shouldn't be allowed to escape only after paying a meager fine,” said Sampat Maroo's sun Sunil.