It is always noticed that two-wheeler riders who are youngsters cause more traffic violations than other motorists. These riders are involved in dodging traffic rules and committing the offense of reckless driving, over speeding, riding triple seat, racing, etc. Virtually red-flagging the issuing of licenses to minors, road safety cell of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has written to state governments to strictly enforce Motor Vehicles Rules to deter minors from riding two-wheelers. Read the complete report here.
According to section 4 of the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, “No person under the age of 18 years shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place, provided that a motorcycle with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc may be driven in a public place by a person after attaining the age of 16 years.” However, with no vehicles being currently manufactured in the country with engines below 50cc, issuing licenses to drive them is virtually nullified.
According to the sources, Assistant Director of Transport Meghashyam Pilankar informed that the Supreme Court has made observations that the number of deaths due to two-wheeler accidents including that of minors is on the rise and due to this the law was amended. Adding to this he also said that the current guidelines are to draw attention and enforce stricter implementation of the rules.
However, those licenses that have already been issued will not be nullified as they were issued as per the earlier rules which permitted issuing of licenses to anyone attaining the age of 16 years for driving non-geared motorcycles, he informed.
According to the NORTH in its letter to the State Government observed that many children below the age of 18 years are riding scooter on way to school. Responding a question, Pilankar clarified that since the law now does not permit, those minors, who hold a learner’s license and wish to apply for a permanent license, will have to undertake the test trial on a non-geared motorcycle which is below 50cc.
Stating that it is misconstrued that e-bikes do not require a driving license, Pilankar informed that e-bikes only up to the capacity of 750 watts do not require registration and hence will not need its rider to hold a license.
Section 180 states that “for driving a motor vehicle by a minor, the vehicle owner is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to Rs 10,000 or with both.”