Schoolchildren on wheels, authorities in slumber

‘Do parents unduly pamper kids on driving?’

Minors on wheels are going so common in the City that now scores of schoolchildren are seen driving two-wheelers to educational institutions on regular basis.

While people accuse police, its Traffic wing and the Regional Transport Office of miserably failing to check the deadly violation, the authorities passed the buck saying “parents have unduly pampered their wards.”
From educational institutions to areas housing coaching centers, children are seen driving mostly two wheelers likes bikes and Scooties.
Their being seemingly minor is not the only offence. Such drivers are seen moving around without safety helmets and with one or more pillions.
Residents of Khanyar said accidents at the hands of minors are on rise in the area. “The other day a  schoolboy riding bike hit an elderly woman and managed to flee,” complained a Khanyar resident.
Locals of areas like Parray Pora a hub of coaching centers said: “Here not only two wheelers, but minors are seen recklessly driving sedans as well.” “I wonder why parents resort to so much of pampering of kids that they allow them to drive swanky cars at tender age,” asked Omar Bhat, a prime witness in the Romana Javaid case, a teenager knocked down to death by some alleged car-borne eve -teasers in May 2009.
Despite hue and cry over driving by minors, people said action is awaited.  Over the years such drivers allegedly resorted to many more such accidents. People have been demanding strict against such violators. “Their vehicles should be seized and parents called for counseling by police because both children and their parents are responsible for the mess,” said elderly HF Hussain, a resident of Samundar Bagh.
Eyebrows are being equally raised over the Regional Transport Office in the issuance of driving licenses with complainants saying that over the years many minors have been issued fraudulent driving licenses.
Nishat locals said they caught hold of some school bunkers on joyride in the area. “But to our utter shock they turned out to be having valid driving license. Eleventh standard student is supposed to be less than 18 years. How can student of this age own license?” they questioned.
While insisting that a drive against minors on wheels would be started, a senior Traffic Police official said: “Whenever we stop schoolchildren on wheels for verification, people in general accuse us of even not sparing kids.”
When contacted SSP Traffic Haseeb Ur Rehman said: “Certainly we will start a drive but we need public cooperation to put check on the menace.”
District Magistrate Farooq Ahmed Shah termed minors on wheels a serious issue. “No indiscipline will be tolerated… But then parents too have to play a role in this regard,” he said.

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