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Youth on illegally altered vehicles have a free run in Kochi

INDYouth on illegally altered vehicles have a free run in Kochi

The authorities have warned of stringent action against use of illegally altered vehicles.
| Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The age group of two-wheeler riders who illegally alter their vehicles and engage in reckless riding on roads is falling from those in their early twenties to those aged 16 to 18, according to sources in the Motor Vehicles department (MVD).

Good many of such rule violators who, by their reckless ride on two-wheelers that produce deafening noise, endanger fellow motorists are Plus Two students, they added, referring to a recent incident in which a young bike rider was seen zooming past along the Edappally-Kalamassery NH 544 corridor on his motorbike that was altered in order to make high-decibel noise and emit sparks from the silencer at frequent intervals.

Apart from the ‘thrill’ they seem to get while violating rules, such youths often want to increase the viewership of their antics that they go on to post on social media platforms like YouTube. The dysfunctional or non-existent CCTV cameras on arterial roads, including NH corridors, Edappally-Aroor NH Bypass, and Container Road, has emboldened them. In addition, the implementation of initiatives such as Project on Accident Free Campus Environment (PACE) to rein in such violations are dormant now, thanks to non-allocation of funds, the sources said.

On complaints that he gets, especially from elderly people about the antics that youth resort to on roads, mostly at night, S. Sreejith, Transport Commissioner, warned that stricter measures were on the way to curb them. “MVD personnel will cancel the registration certificate of such vehicles, citing that they are not roadworthy,” he said.

Expressing concern at the rampant alteration of motorbikes and four-wheelers by youth to engage in rash driving and to perform stunts, Adarsh Kumar Nair, director of Kochi-based SCMS Institute for Road Safety and Transportation (SiRST), said each vehicle was built as per a set of specifications, with safety, stability, and other parameters in mind.

“Any attempt to alter them defeats their purpose and may even trigger fire. Alterations to the horn and other components that create nuisance, instill fear, and threaten the safety of fellow road users are not acceptable. Pregnant women, elderly people, and children are among the worst affected by the acts of such youth. Aimed at preventing such incidents, care must be taken to enrol more youths in awareness campaigns,” he said.

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