The misfortune continues unabated. We are barely coming to terms with the tragedy of the engineering student killed in a road accident at Udyambag and now we have two girls who were still at school being claimed by the fact that we choose to turn a blind eye at reality.
Its getting crazier by the day and while it is convenient to blame the roads and the traffic if not the police who are manning the streets, the truth is that we are flirting with what cannot be undone. How many deaths will it take for the city to wake up to the need for caution before we quite literally empower our children with bikes.
While there is a definite amount of truth in the fact that the traffic is getting crazier by the day, the sheer carelessness is frightening.
The family of the kids will continue their struggle with the cruelty of fate but much needs to be said and done regarding the actions of the family if not just the parents and the children themselves. Why is it that these acts are allowed and even tolerated by the citizens of this city.
It is a matter of great pride when we declare that Belagavi is the chosen one when it comes to being among the list of smart cities. However, a smart city is not just smart infrastructure; its more to do with smart and responsible citizens.
What were the parents thinking about when they allowed these kids to take the ride. Isnt it time to rid ourselves of this concept of false prestige over the fact that we take great pride in declaring that our child is yet in school but he or she already knows how to ride a bike? What has been accomplished by these bits of super irresponsible parenting is for everyone to see.
There are definite laws against under age driving and it is time to implement them in spirit rather than just as a matter of compulsion. The law also says that helmets are compulsory but the streets are littered with young and old attempting to bypass the rule itself. For the police, it is sadly a matter of catching a few and imposing fines but implementation is more about true implementation rather than focusing on monetary collections. True, the parent must be prosecuted to maybe even set an example but just thay is not sufficient.
Even educational institutions need go step up the ante and announce that any case of underage riding or driving, stunts and triple riding will be severely dealt with. Cant we make such announcements that violators will be even expelled if necessary. Institutions may say that they dont allow kids without licence to park their vehicles on the campus but what about all those who still indulge and park outside campuses? In the recent cases its observed that the riders have been killed and largely for a fault of their own but what about cases where they managed to kill someone else? What punishment would befit such a crime committed on account of the fool hardy carelessness of the parents?
Parents, take this seriously! If you have an under-18 teenager who has a flair for riding or driving, better keep your eyes open. Parents of minors riding or driving two-wheelers or cars will be arrested. With an eye on the safety of pedestrians and other motorists. Minors cannot be booked according to the law, so their parents who are abetting them to ride or drive will be booked. The police feel that without such stringency it would be difficult to discipline minors or create awareness about road safety and traffic law.
The High Court of Karnataka has asked the police to book parents for minors riding/driving. Under section 184, parents can be sent to jail for six months or fined up to Rs 1,000, or both.
It is time that the action becomes more definite. Its is time that each one wakes up to the responsibility and does everything one can to stop the children from violating rules and taking undue risks. Isnt their life worth anything?