Hyderabad: The traffic police us under tremendous pressure to go slow on two-wheeler riders without helmets in the city even as the High Court has taken a serious view of the helmet rule not being enforced effectively. The Hyderabad traffic police booked 798 cases on Sunday and another 879 cases on Monday, pertaining to helmetless driving. These two-wheeler riders were asked to undergo counselling on the importance of wearing helmets and following traffic rules of safety of self and other road users too.
Though cops want to intensify the drive against helmetless driving, sources said political pressure is being exerted on them to go slow against two-wheeler riders found without helmets. Though top cops in the Hyderabad traffic police maintained that there is no connection to enforcement of helmet rule to the ensuing civic body polls and they will continue to book cases and counsel the violators of helmet rule, sources said there are unofficial instructions from ruling TRS party ministers and leaders from the city to go slow until GHMC polls.
While none of the traffic police officers wanted to come on record on this issue, a traffic constable on duty on the city roads said there are instructions not to harass even the road side vendors until GHMC elections are over. “Most of the road side vendors reside in slums and these are the people who go out and actually give their vote. We have been told not to unnecessarily book cases against the road side vendors or seize their push carts and balance unless they are causing traffic jams,” said a constable.
Helmets, snatching are not linked: Hyderabad High Court
While submitting the action-taken report on enforcing the helmet rule, A. Sanjeev Kumar, special counsel for Telangana, submitted that the authorities were fining first time violators Rs 100 and second time violators Rs 300.
They were also contemplating cancelling driving licenses of erring riders. He said that the rule permitted a maximum fine of Rs 300.
He even submitted that the police had apprehensions that strict implementation of the helmet rule would be helpful for chain snatchers to remain undetected.
The Bench pointed out that it was a silly reason and asked the counsel whether he considered it to be a valid reason for not implementing the helmet rule.
When counsel said he too disagreed with the apprehensions of the police, the Bench ruled there was no need to link chain snatching incidents with wearing of helmets. The Bench adjourned the case to January 25, 2016 asking the counsel to file a fresh action-taken report.
50 special teams on December 31
The traffic police is constituting 50 special teams to check drunk driving and speeding on December 31 night. Vehicles would be seized and drivers would be called for counselling the next day if found driving in an inebriated condition or exceeding speed limits.
Traffic police said the norm is to have about 15 teams to check for drunk drivers but there will be a three-fold increase for New Year’s eve. “Last year, we booked 401 cases of drunk driving on New Year’s eve. Our teams would also move with speed guns,” a senior police official said.
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