RAWALPINDI: In the wake of the death of six family members after being hit by an underage car driver in Lahore, the police in Rawalpindi have launched a campaign

and registered 1,108 FIRs against underage car and motorcycle drivers in the last 13 days.

However, the police did not give details of underage car drivers booked so far during the drive.

A police spokesman said on Friday that under the direction of City Police Officer (CPO) Syed Khalid Hamdani, effective action was being taken against underage drivers and 68 cases were registered in a single day on Thursday.

The spokesman said the CPO visited the City Traffic Police headquarters and held a meeting with the officials regarding the legal action being taken against underage drivers.

He said on the direction of the CPO, cases were registered against 68 underage drivers in a single day on Thursday while 1,108 cases were registered so far.

The CPO said that the crackdown against underage drivers was being made more effective and parents should discourage their underage children from driving.

He said special classes were being started in educational institutions for eligible students, adding young drivers were not only a danger to their own lives but also to the lives of other citizens.

The Punjab government’s orders against young drivers are being strictly followed, he said.

After the tragic accident in Lahore, the Lahore High Court had directed the police to launch a crackdown against underage drivers across the province.

However, the crackdown is being criticised as some police experts and people from different walks of life.

They believe that the registration of FIRs against youngsters will spoil their future when the police have power to impose fine or confiscate their vehicles.

A retired traffic police officer also termed the registration of FIRs against underage motorcycle riders unjustified, saying it would have been better to impose heavy fines on them than registering FIRs.

He said: “Once the name of a citizen, especially students, is put into the record of the Crime Registrar Office, their future is spoiled.”

Many people have expressed surprise on the action against underage drivers and said the police should improve and ease the driving licensing process so that young people could get the document.

The high court on Tuesday sought replies from the provincial police chief by December 5 in a petition filed by a citizen challenging the inclusion of underage drivers’ names in the criminal record.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2023

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