With an aim to educate parents and warn them against underage driving, a special magistrate court in Telangana’s Hyderabad has sentenced 10 parents to one-day prison for letting their minor children drive.
The police said that 35 parents were sentenced to spend one day at prison last month for allowing their underage children to drive. Even a 14-year-old was sent to remand in a juvenile home for one day.
According to the Financial Express, parents were also asked to pay a penalty of Rs 500 under Section 180 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
The parents said that they were unaware of any such rule, and did not know that they would be held accountable for letting an underage child drive. While speaking with the BBC, one of the parents, Shakeel Ahmed, said,
I was unaware of [underage driving] rule. My 17-year-old son took his bike to go for his tutorial. And we were sent to prison.
Over 130 accidents involving minors was reported last month, and many of them were near-fatal, causing death in a few cases. The police officials said that four children died in Hyderabad last month because they were driving a vehicle.
In an effort to curb this, the police officials have decided to imprison parents for a day hoping that this would encourage them to think twice before allowing their underage ward to drive.
According to the India Times, road safety expert Vinod Kumar Kanumala said,
If police book 10 more such cases continuously, and if the courts jail all of them, then we will surely see a change in parents as well as the minors.
The imprisonment of parents is a part of the city’s campaign to curb underage driving.