Between the years 2012 and 2014, accidents caused by non-licensed drivers in India went up 54%. During the same period, drivers younger than 18 caused roughly 20,000 accidents, as per data provided by police departments of all states and Union territories.
"The actual number of violations, including under-age driving and driving without licence, is much higher, as there is hardly any detection of such drivers in rural areas and small towns. We don't get proper data that can help us plan better and bridge the gaps. What we also need is to educate parents and school-going children," said K K Kapila, head of the International Road Federation, was quoted as saying by the Times Of India.
Teenagers riding motorcycles is a common sight in major metro cities and towns across India.
According to Transport Ministry officials, the local police hardly register any cases against teenagers as they consider the crimes petty, and no one wants to take any action against young boys and girls.
Studies across the world suggest riders and drivers in the age group of 16-19 are four times more likely to crash in comparison with older drivers. Some of the reasons why this occurs is because teens likely to speed, and may take wrong routes, or drive after consuming alcohol, said the TOI report.
"Until the police take action in such cases, there will be no check on these types of violations," a Transport Ministry official told the Times of India.
As per the Motors Vehicle Act (Section 180), the owner of a vehicle permitting an under-age person or a person without a licence to drive a vehicle can be fined, imprisoned or both, depending on the severity of the crime.