India is a global market for two-wheelers, with more than 20 crore two-wheelers on Indian roads
. The country is a manufacturing hub for two-wheelers as well, having exported almost 2.5 lakh two-wheelers in the month of May alone
. But India faces a major problem in the form of two-wheeler accidents, with the number increasing each year. Among this statistics is the number of accidents caused by underage riders, their contribution being 9.6%
. While a motor insurance
policy may provide a net of financial safeguard, it does not prevent accidents caused by minors. To curb these incidents, the Roads and Transport Ministry has made it compulsory for people below the age of 18 years to apply for a learner’s license. Let’s understand the importance of learner’s license and how to apply for it.
Learner’s License: The First Step
The increase in two-wheeler accidents being caused due to underaged riders is becoming a major concern for authorities. Underage individuals can be found riding two-wheelers without any supervision and proper documentation (such as a valid licence). Not only is this illegal, but is also an endangerment the lives of others. To curb such incidents, the Roads and Transport Ministry of India has made it mandatory for minors to first apply for a learner’s licence. This makes them eligible for a permanent licence after they turn 18 years old.
The Importance Of A Learner’s License
The following reasons emphasise the importance of having a learner’s license for riding a two-wheeler:
- Is Mandatory By Law
Under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1989, individuals need to apply for a learner’s licence before they can apply for a permanent licence. Individuals between the age of 16-18 years can apply for a learner’s licence. Apart from a learner’s permit, they also need to be riding the vehicle under adult supervision. Failure to meet the requirement may attract penalties. It may also lead to imprisonment for some period and might also lead to the cancellation of the registration of the vehicle.
- Instils A Sense Of Responsibility
Accidents involving minors have been documented continuously, where over-speeding, lack of adult supervision, and other similar issues may be involved. The lack of fear of consequences may be one of the reasons why many minors get encouraged to exhibit such a behaviour. When they apply for a two-wheeler
learner’s licence, they can reduce the chances of any legal consequences (it reduces the chances of getting penalised and makes them a responsible driver).
Underage Driving: Limited To Two-Wheelers?
One may wonder if accidents caused by minors are limited to just two-wheelers. However, that is not the case. There are many accidents in which minors with a license are found driving four-wheelers as well. What makes this situation more dangerous is the fact that four-wheelers can cause more damage to human life and property than a two-wheeler. If you have recently purchased a car, and own a four-wheeler insurance policy for it, it is important to remember that claims can get rejected if a minor is found driving the car at the time of the accident. The same rules which apply to a two-wheeler when it comes to minors also apply to four-wheelers. But do not overlook the importance of the policy due to this exclusion. Use the car insurance calculator
if your vehicle is not insured.
Applying For A Learner’s License? Keep These Tips In Mind
If you experience any confusion on applying for a learner’s license, here are some tips which may help you clear the air:
- The validity of a learner’s license is for 6 months. Once you complete 6 months, you need to renew the license till you reach the age of 18 and are eligible to apply for a permanent license.
- It is important to have an adult with you when you are using the vehicle. Be it a two-wheeler or four-wheeler, adult supervision is required under the law.
- For two-wheelers, both geared and non-geared learning riders are required to have a license.
- If you have an electric two-wheeler which has a power of less than 250W and a top speed below 25 kmph, a minor in your family does not require a learner’s license for it.
How To Apply For A Learner’s License?
If you have a minor in the family who has turned 16 and wishes to apply for a learner’s license, you can follow these steps:
- Visit the Parivahan Sewa website, which is the government’s website for the Roads ministry
- Select “Learner’s license apply”, which will lead you to the Parivahan Sarathi website
- Select the state where you are residing
- Apply for a learner’s license
- Fill up the application, submit the required documents, and pay the fees
- Once the fees have been successfully paid, you can now book a slot for the license test
The test will be conducted at the nearest RTO. After the candidate successfully passes the test, they will receive the license via post in a few days.
It is always better to promote safe practices at an early stage. The same applies to learning a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler. If you have a bike at home, and you wish to teach it to a minor, it is important to secure the vehicle and yourself under the protection of a bike insurance
policy. The policy provides financial assistance in the event of an accident.*
*Standard T&C apply
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.