If the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) decides to accept the suggestions of Motor Vehicle Act review committee, the age for driving a motorcycle or scooter will be increased to 18 years.
As per law, a 16-year-old can get a special licence for riding a two-wheeler not exceeding engine capacity of 50cc.
A 10-member committee headed by S Sundar, former secretary, ministry of surface transport, submitted a report to MORTH recommending changes in the existing age limit.
As per the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, no person under 18 can drive a motor vehicle in any public place. However, a special licence can be obtained to drive a motorcycle with a 50cc engine.
The committee has argued that currently no manufacturer in the country produces bikes of this capacity. Also, the increase in age will help reduce vehicle-related morbidity and mortality.
The committee included professor Dinesh Mohan, IIT (Delhi), OP Agarwal, CEO and MD, UMTC, SR Marathe, director (ARAI), Pune, Dilip Chenoy, DG (SIAM), and transport commissioners of MP and Karnataka amongst others. SK Dash, joint secretary, transport, MORTH, was the member secretary.
Top road transport officials discussed the suggestions in New Delhi on Wednesday. Many claimed that youngsters would misuse the special licence to drive other vehicles.
However, officials from Maharashtra State’s Road Transport Authority believe that changing the age limit will result in more illegalities. “Youngsters may forge their date of birth to get driving licences,” said a state RTO official.