Driving at night risky for the young

NEW DELHI: When five youngsters went out on Saturday night, they never thought their joyride would end in hospital. Two of them were killed and three injured as they appeared to have rammed into a speeding truck on the Gurgaon road.

As more youngsters take to the wheel late at night, many are falling prey to the nocturnal menace of heavy vehicles criss-crossing the city. Parents worry about their children, but some are not able to keep them in check.

South Extension resident Romila Chadha says she doesn’t allow her 18-year-old son to drive. ‘‘There is no question of letting him drive until we are confident of his driving skills,’’ she said. Chadha says parents must play a crucial role to keep a check on their children who want to go out. ‘‘The kids might complain about lack of privacy, but one should always send them with a driver,’’ she says.

Joint commissioner of police (traffic), Maxwell Pereira, however, feels it is difficult to keep a tab on youngsters. ‘‘If I think of myself as a parent, itis very difficult to keep them under check,’’ he says.

Most of these youngsters learn the basics of driving from their friends and uncles instead of driving schools, and are hardly equipped with
enough skills to handle the difficult conditions at night.

‘‘To encourage sensible driving, we encourage student groups to put across the message of safety on the road,’’ Pereira says.
VRU is one such university group which campaigned against rash and drunken driving recently. Says Chadha, ‘‘As a parent, I do feel that these young people should keep away from alcohol.’’ Says Prince Singhal, head of an anti-drunken driving group in the city, ‘‘We have been campaigning amongst the young and trendy lot to go for mocktails, instead of cocktails.’’

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