Lahore: Increasing trend of rashly driving motorbikes and cars amongst juvenile drivers has led to 70155 road accidents during last three years that speaks of parental negligence and poor implementation of law.

The juvenile drivers, mostly children of rich people, do motorbike and car races on the busy boulevards of Lahore, putting their own and others’ lives at stake.

Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) statistical report compiled by Rescue 1122, Lahore has recorded 70,155 juvenile accidents in the metropolitan city during three years i.e. 17/06/2013 to 28/05/2016. The report says that 438 accidents occurred in March, 460 in April and 374 in May this year.

Rescue 1122 data of May 2016 recorded 875 individuals up to the age of 20 years met accidents in Lahore.

Ahmad Raza, District Emergency Officer of Rescue 1122 Lahore told News Lens Pakistan that these accidents mostly took place on the city’s busiest roads.

Spokesman of City Traffic Police (CTP) Farrukh told News Lens Pakistan, “Underage driver are usually found driving in Johar Town, Defense Housing Authority (DHA), Garden Town, Model Town, Jail Road and Gulberg.

Ibrahim, a 16 year old boy, left two adult motorcyclists dead after hitting them while they were returning to their homes after a long shift at Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited.

The young driver was the son of a well-known industrialist Irfan Ahmed. He was returning from dinner with a teenaged girl when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction at Mian Mir Bridge.

Omer, 15, is suffering from a mild head injury after he crashed his speeding car into another one which was going slower than him. The accident took place at Canal Road near Johar Town, Lahore.


Omer, told News Lens Pakistan, defiantly: “I was driving at a normal pace. As I entered the canal road on my way to Thokar Niaz Baig, I crashed into a car in front of me.”

When asked about the legal prohibition of underage driving, the boy said, “Who respects the law? Even the Police and other officials have no respect for any of the state laws.”

“I have been driving for a year now. There is nothing wrong with underage driving if I am better at it than older people,” he said with confidence.

RTA Statistics

On the other hand, Rescue 1122 Punjab Rawalpindi RTA data 2016 also depicts alarming number of 248 accidents due to juvenile driving till May this year.

Deeba Shahnaz, Spokesperson of Rescue 1122 Punjab subscribes to the view that underage driving is a fully cultivated trend, which has spread like an epidemic over the past decade with a massive rise in fatal accidents in other developed cities i.e. in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi.

While elaborating the social reasons for young drivers despite their illegal status, Ahmad said, “The pampered attitude of well- off parents in the name of open mindedness and, over-confidence of their socio-legal power in a class discriminated society boosts their child’s confidence and allows them to take their vehicle in the road without obtaining driving license.”

Mohammad Munir, a senior driver of Rescue 1122 Lahore, says ‘“Young boys often engage in vehicle racing, especially later in the evening.” He further said that at least 1-2 accidents caused by juvenile drivers are observed by Rescue 1122 in Lahore on daily basis.

In this context, Rescue 1122 Punjab’s analysis, which underlines the causes of under-18 driving accidents, says that the driver’s anti-social behavior, faulty vehicle, frequent obstructions, encroachments and construction of city’s roads are the main contributors in underage road accidents.

Zahid Hussain, a senior Emergency Medical Technician at Rescue 1122, said, “Over-speeding can often result in car crashes due to underdeveloped reflexes. It is the main cause of accidents in young drivers, which is why they are unauthorized to drive a vehicle before the age of 18.”

Zain Qazi, a lawyer, says, “A road accident is a compoundable offence due to which up to 95 percent of under-age fatal driving accidents are settled upon monetary compensation between the two parties.” The offence, he said, would be primarily dealt under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

“The procedure that is adopted comes under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance in which a minor will not be sent to Jail, rather he/she would be sent to face probation,” he explained.

To a question about societal discrimination by the law against poor juvenile driver versus a wealthy young driver, Qazi responded that there are no shortcomings and discrimination in the juvenile Justice System and Provincial Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965. “Unfortunately, our state law is not respected not even by the legislative members in the Government, thus common citizens fearlessly override state laws, he added.

He termed juvenile driving a poor societal trend where people seldom bother to condemn illegal driving around them.

Behaviour of Omer’s parents during an interview was a shock to News Lens Pakistan. His father Zafar said, “Though underage driving causes major accidents, parents cannot keep an eye on their children all the time. We have other issues to deal with as well.”

The boy’s mother Abida said, “A child may feel less confident and inferior when boys of a similar age can drive and he cannot. Due to this reason, we let Omer drive.”

Interestingly, Section 3 and 4 of Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965 clearly prohibit driving without license and tells age limit for drivers. “We initially issue a learner’s permit for a duration of six months to motorcycle and car drivers aged minimum 18 years” says Farrukh.

Neelam Shaheen, a senior psychologist said, “Underage driving is related to a sub-conscious insight regarding good and bad learned by children from their immediate family’s overall behavior.”

She said, “Parents condition their child’s formative years of development with false confidence that encourages disrespect for this civic law.”

Zahid Hussain said, “It is an adventure for underage drivers to break traffic laws and engage in racing on public roads, thus hurting other citizens.”

Naeem (not real name), senior traffic official fined a 13 year old boy on Jail Road. His father intervened to save Rs 1000; a penalty for driving without license.

When asked about the leniency shown towards the juvenile driver, Naeem reluctantly said, “We are compelled to do it quite often.”

CTP Lahore (2011 -2013) fine records show that heavy fines up to Rs 3000 have been taken from 1,728 juvenile drivers as opposed to the increasing number of youths engaging in vehicle racing from 2013 till date.


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