underage driving is rampant in most cities across India. School and college going children derive a thrill at being able to control a vehicle and speed on roads. While government officials have tried to curb this menace, the numbers do not seem to be decreasing.
The current law in India allows one to apply for a license only upon turning 18.
However, given the increase in underage drivers and the resultant accidents, the government has been considering revising the age.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has amended the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 to modify the ‘Category L1’ (motorcycle) to pave the way for those in the 16-18 age group to drive e-scooters.
Things to know
1. Those between the age bracket of 16 and 18 years will be allowed to ride 50 cc vehicles alone.
2. Part of India’s aim to become an all-electric nation by 2030, this move will help promote electric mobility among first-time riders.
3. A license for electric scooters that run on a speed of 70 km/hour can be obtained.
4. A valid license for the rider and licence plates for the vehicle will be required for driving the e-scooter.
5. It will also help curb rash driving.
In a report published in The Hindu, a road safety expert, said, “The riders, who just have finished Std X, need to be cautious on the speed of e-scooters as they have high acceleration and deceleration compared to fossil-powered two-wheelers. Enough exposure needs to be given to them on road signages and traffic signals. The parents will have to ensure their children wear ISI approved headgears.”
Read about Ather Energy, an electric vehicle company founded in 2013, by IIT graduates Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain here.
There have been several cases wherein the police have taken stern action not just against the underage driver but also against the parents. With the introduction of these e-scooters, one hopes that cases of rash driving will reduce.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
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