Hyderabad: Minors who drive into conflict with the law by getting involved in accidents could face stringent punishment from now on, with the City Traffic Police forwarding a proposal to the court, asking for jail terms instead of the existing Rs 1,000 penalty.
As per the proposal, which has been submitted to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge (MSJ) at the Nampally Criminal Court Complex, the minimum and maximum jail term for under-aged drivers (minors) may be one day and three months respectively. As the offence will be shared on the Aadhaar card of violators, children could face problems in getting a passport in future, officials said.
The owner of the vehicle driven by a minor would also face jail term. While the minor would be sent to a juvenile home, the owner will be put behind bars in the Chanchalguda prison.
“We received a positive response from the MSJ. We are hopeful of implementing the enhanced punishment with jail term after a month,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) AV Ranganath said.
As many as 6,000 cases were booked against minors under the age of 18 last year. “We usually register over 450 cases every month during drive taken up at educational institutions across the city,” he said.
Another official said the department had sent proposals to MSJ only after assessing that the penalty of Rs 1,000 for the first offence committed by minors was not acting as a deterrent for them. Cases booked under Sections 180 (allowing unauthorised persons to drive vehicles) and 181 (driving vehicles in contravention of Section 3 (necessity for driving licence) or Section 4 (no person under the age of 18 years shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place)) of Motor Vehicles Act will enable the police to send vehicle owners and minors to jail.
“Most minors continue to drive vehicles in spite of paying a challan of Rs 1,000 for the first offence,” the official said.
Three accidents were caused due to rash driving by minors leaving one person dead, and at least eight, including a couple, injured since December 12, 2016.
The Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar police had arrested a minor for injuring four persons in a car accident on January 7. On December 12, a couple sustained serious injuries after an SUV driven by a minor hit them at Pragatinagar in Kukatpally. On Wednesday, another minor rammed his car into three persons, killing one of them.