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Boy, 13, Crashes Family Car; Dad Faints, In Hospital

A father collapsed and was rushed to hospital after he heard his son, 13, crashed their family car on Sunday. The boy was allegedly driving to the shop when the
19 Apr 2016 11:52
Boy, 13, Crashes Family Car; Dad Faints, In Hospital
Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho.

A father collapsed and was rushed to hospital after he heard his son, 13, crashed their family car on Sunday.

The boy was allegedly driving to the shop when the car hit another vehicle at Votua Street, Samabula, Suva.

He and occupants of the other car were not injured.

But Police have taken the case seriously and are waiting for the father to be discharged from Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva so that they can interview him.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said this was a serious matter involving parental responsibility.

A Police officer involved in the investigations said they would press charges if there was overwhelming evidence that the father was also culpable.

Under the law, any person under the age of 17 is not allowed to drive nor possess a driver’s licence.

The officer said Police had information that the father knew his son was driving the car.

He said: “The boy was going to the shop to buy something and as soon as he turned the car on the bend at Votua Road his vehicle went to the other lane and hit the other vehicle.

“The father allows the son to drive the car even though the boy is under age.”

The officer said the boy could not be charged because he was a juve-nile.

If the father was charged it would be on two counts, he added.

The first count is permitting oth-er person to drive motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. The second count is failure to comply with provisions of a learner’s permit.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho and Director of Traffic Senior Superintendent Mahesh Mishra have expressed their concern about the incident.

Brigadier-General Qiliho said from Vanuatu last night that this was a serious matter. He is meeting his counterpart there as part a Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) tour that includes the Solomons and Papua New Guinea. He said recently three boys of similar age were found joyriding.

“Parents who allow underage children to drive are guilty of negligence and we cannot allow unlicensed drivers on our roads,” he said.

SSP  Mishra said“We will be doing a thorough investigation because it is a serious issue, though nobody got hurt the matter at hand is that the boy was not supposed to be driving because he is underage and it’s the responsibility of the owner of the motor vehicle.”

“We are urging the parents and guardians to be more responsible and that we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour,” Mr Mishra said.

He said this was the first reported case of its kind involving an under-age driver in the past 12 months.

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

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