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Old 7th June 2019, 11:02   #1
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Default Dissuading under-age driving

I want some material/media in dissuading a 15 year old from driving without license. He says that his cousin of the same age gets to get behind the wheel once a while on the highway! His parents are a close family friend of ours and even though they are against it, he still persuades them and takes the car out in our private residential area, though he is a confident learner.

I do not want to sound harsh or act the police, as he in his teens is an adamant guy. I've already mentioned that it's the parents who will be penalised for any mishap.

What I'm looking for is material from the authorities mentioning the penalty, or any videos that can change his view.
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:45   #2
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Two examples from our very own forum:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...eme-court.html (Owner liable if minor is involved in accident: Supreme Court)


https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/drive...r-holiday.html (An errant driver costs family their car and a holiday...)
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:50   #3
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

I'll just cite a couple of examples to show how rampant underage driving is on our streets:

1. My sister has friends in Gurgaon (thanks to the internet) who have Fortuners as their personal daily drivers, and they themselves drive these vehicles to the nearby hills and highways on road trips. Mind you, these are all 15 year olds.

2. When I was 16, I had this junior of mine (15 year old) who used to drive an XUV500 all over the city at unmentionable speeds. He was never apprehended, and his parents never stopped him either. BHPian sammybarman and I had taken just one ride in his car, and we remember him speeding down a major flyover in the city with a bottle in one hand and a cigarette in another. Needless to say, we never got into his car again.

3. One of my classmates, at the age of 16, was caught speeding down the Gariahat flyover in an Esteem in broad daylight. The police stopped him, took his car to the station and kept him in custody for 12 hours to teach him a lesson. His father was called and fined heavily too. Mind you, this guy had been driving for over 2 years at that point and he thought he'd never get stopped.

4. When I was 12, a 13 year old senior took his father's brand new Fortuner for a spin. This guy had also been driving for a year at that point. At a major intersection in the city, the car collided perpendicularly with a minibus, and metal rods pierced his head and came out through the other side. His father was an MLA, so the matter was hushed up, and never appeared in the news.

The law isn't very strict in these matters. I took the following screenshots from the Kolkata Police website, but these fines are the same all over India.

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Mind you, a lot of parents are actually supportive of their underage children driving, and are proud of them. To them, these petty fines don't matter. In my opinion, parents should be firm with their kids, and keep vehicle keys out of their reach. Of course, there's only so much that a parent can do and there's nothing stopping the child from driving some other friends' cars.

Last edited by boniver : 7th June 2019 at 11:53.
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Old 7th June 2019, 12:07   #4
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by boniver View Post
Mind you, a lot of parents are actually supportive of their underage children driving, and are proud of them. To them, these petty fines don't matter. In my opinion, parents should be firm with their kids, and keep vehicle keys out of their reach. Of course, there's only so much that a parent can do and there's nothing stopping the child from driving some other friends' cars.
It is not the amount of fine that matters here. Fine is when the car is caught by police while driven by underage or unlicensed driver.

The real trouble starts if there is an accident. It doesn't matter if the other party is guilty or is the reason for the accident, the underage driver will be held guilty. The owner of the car will be held responsible. Insurance company will deny any and all claims.
If there is death/injury/damage arising due to underage driving, then the owner will be liable to pay the compensation which can range anywhere from lakhs to crores and as directed by the court, if the owner cannot pay up, then it is jail time.
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Old 7th June 2019, 12:16   #5
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

No amount of advices will teach lessons to this behavior. Providing some reading material will not improve the situation since the person is not innocent or ignorant about the law here. it is, in my view, revolutionary attitude (What can legal system do to me if I drive) and a kind of arrogance (why should "I" follow rules) that motivates the person to overrule the rules

There is a Sanskrit shloka which says, people learn

one fourth from the teacher, one fourth from own intelligence,
one fourth from classmates, and one fourth only with time.

In this case, only punishment(Time, as per the above shloka), may be, police catch and seize the car, automatically, both, parents and teen will learn the lesson and the situation might improve.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th June 2019 at 13:45. Reason: Typo.
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Old 7th June 2019, 12:50   #6
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

The only practical thing to do, is for the parents to deny the kid driving access to the family's vehicles until he's legal age, and make it abundantly clear that if he gets into trouble driving someone else's, they'll let the law of the land take its course.

There isn't much that can dissuade an adamant kid who feels invincible (we all did at that age), but the thought of having to take personal responsibility and nobody having his back may at least make him think twice.

Tough spot to be in as a parent.
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Old 7th June 2019, 13:44   #7
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Welcome to Parenting in India my friend

Let me be honest and share from my own experiences while growing up and asking my parents for the same. In my case it was a bike and not the car, due to our affordability, but still the situation was the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
He says that his cousin of the same age gets to get behind the wheel once a while on the highway!
This is one of the biggest motivating factor for youngsters. Their cousins or friends doing the same and may be making fun of them for not being man enough. So the remedy is to simply make them understand that one wrong does not justify another wrong.

There are BHPians here who have had their licence on forged documents with support from their parents because guess what - that it how it used to work back in the hay days when there were no computers or smart cards.

In my case, my parents used to tell me that:
1) They won't be able to help me if I get caught in an accident as they will not bribe the cops, even if my other relatives will do so to have their kids free from custody. So I will remain in custody for whatever number of days and will have my reputation lost for ever. So yes, they used to terrify me with these stories of getting disrespected at school and among family for life.

2) They will face tendentious difficulty in home finances if in case I have a major accident. Part of coming from a middle class family.

3) This will lead to multiple wrongs in future as you will develop an attitude of twisting the facts and playing with the law. We don't want you to be like Uncle XYZ in the family. Look at him now. Does he have any respect among the rest of the family? Has he been able to do anything right now in life?, etc.

4) You may get into permanent trouble for life. Quoting examples from extended network of kids becoming permanently handicapped or even dying from accidents. Son of so and so person died while doing this, and so on. Same argument applies to asking to go to a Dam site with friends on Holi or any other day. They wouldn't allow me to go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
What I'm looking for is material from the authorities mentioning the penalty, or any videos that can change his view.
Standard rules are available easily on internet but those may not be enough. What can help is some WhatsApp videos of the condition of the car/bike, some accident stories here on TBHP and some news articles on accidents on the internet involving underage riding/driving.


Note: All this worked for me as I used to trust my parents, didn't want them to get into trouble for my actions and kind of seek their permission before doing anything. If that is the case with your child, you are safe.

If your child has a rebellious attitude, then your best option is to act as Police

Last edited by sunilch : 7th June 2019 at 13:47.
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Old 7th June 2019, 13:54   #8
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

I'm not sure if pointing out penalties/ rules/ laws is going to help drive sense into an adamant 15-year old.

May I suggest you taking the boy to a small "educational" tour of emergency ward of a local hospital?
Or better still, the local police station to get a view of how things work inside the thana?
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Old 7th June 2019, 13:54   #9
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Some more links for you to build your case:

https://www.news18.com/news/india/69...d-1686501.html

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/64967820.cms
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Old 7th June 2019, 14:22   #10
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
...
What I'm looking for is material from the authorities mentioning the penalty, or any videos that can change his view.
If you are staying in Kerala, I would suggest you to go to your nearest police station and have a word with the inspector/in-charge and then take your son to the same station and have the inspector/in-charge speak to your son about the consequences of what he wants to do. I am sure you will find the police quite co-operative in such cases, at least in Kerala. This would be like hearing it from the horse's mouth so to speak.

Show your son about the consequences of what happened to the Ferrari driving kid and his parents from Kerala - https://www.hindustantimes.com/india...LQDty7oUK.html

I think almost every parent goes through this dilemma. If there are some private driveways/ground around your house (e.g. inside some estate etc.), it would be okay to let him drive there once in a while as long as there is no danger to himself. I think you do not need driving license to drive on private roads (but please check if this is valid in our state/country)
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Old 7th June 2019, 14:39   #11
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

No amount of material available on the internet or print can find a permanent solution to this problem, it will eventually come down to parenting. However, at this stage it needs to be handled delicately because the teen already seems adamant, so get help with counseling (elders/cops/family friends or even teachers that the child looks up to) if needed.
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Old 7th June 2019, 15:36   #12
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

My dad used an effective deterrent - he said I can start driving\riding when I can afford to buy the vehicles since I will not get insurance coverage without a license if I get into an accident. He made it very clear that he will not buy a motorized vehicle for me to use during my college days.

Once I turned 18 and I got the license, I was given the keys :-D

--Anoop
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Old 10th June 2019, 10:46   #13
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
I want some material/media in dissuading a 15 year old from driving without license. He says that his cousin of the same age gets to get behind the wheel once a while on the highway!
I'm sorry, but I don't think any amount of "material" is going to convince an adamant 15 year old.

Blessed are those that don't have to deal with such a situation!

It's the age where you feel nothing can ever go wrong, and that the world is yours to conquer! A police threat looks too trivial, and a reference to accidents will be brushed off as "it cannot happen to me"! A refusal by a parent looks unreasonable and mean, especially if the 15 year old can see that his parents are well off.

As someone said, one of the ways is to restrict access to the vehicle. But then, what's to prevent them from borrowing a friend's vehicle? The well known proverb "Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again." holds very well true here - and this has nothing to do with logic, reasoning, and explanations in case of a 15 year old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
He made it very clear that he will not buy a motorized vehicle for me to use during my college days.
If you're lucky, this will work. But as someone earlier said, parenting is tricky. I have seen around me, and parents find if extremely difficult to deprive their children of their "instant" happiness, especially if the parents have struggled to make it through life, and don't want to deprive their children.

Sorry for sounding pessimistic here!

Last edited by PearlJam : 10th June 2019 at 10:49.
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Old 10th June 2019, 11:28   #14
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
I want some material/media in dissuading a 15 year old from driving without license.
Best way is to be strict about it. Maybe a trip to the police station to show him the lock-up will be enough to avoid getting into trouble. Promise him to get a license for a scooter when he's 16 in the interim.

Quote:
I do not want to sound harsh or act the police, as he in his teens is an adamant guy. I've already mentioned that it's the parents who will be penalised for any mishap.
Give the kid a nice gaming wheel + pedal set along with a decent computer loaded with Euro Truck Simulator. Ask him to hone his skills here before being allowed to drive on the road. You can also take him to karting sessions / dirt biking arenas if possible.

Quote:
What I'm looking for is material from the authorities mentioning the penalty, or any videos that can change his view.
Sadly, getting material from authorities won't be much of help - or at least I haven't yet come across anything useful.

Last edited by blackwasp : 10th June 2019 at 11:30.
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Old 10th June 2019, 11:46   #15
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Default re: Dissuading under-age driving

Thou shalt not dissuade underage driving by citing accidents. Rather, thou shalt do so by reminding thine underaged brethren/their parents of the legal consequences that do follow.

If you are to speak of the high likelihood of accidents brought on by young drivers, yes - young ones are highly likely to crash and burn. That's a given. But everyone normally thinks they are invincible and that accidents only happen to others. More pertinently, a teenager is guaranteed to think he/she is invincible.

Here's some unpopularity packaged in the following words - being young doesn't necessarily make one a bad driver. What about all the adult idiots whom we see on the roads all the time?

I'd rather put the fear of police torture in the parents since as per the law, only the parents of under-aged drivers are charged by the authorities.
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