A motorist racing on the traffic laden roads of the city without a helmets is common sight. The helmet issue has been going for quite some time now and the traffic police department is going to extreme lengths to ensure that the helmets are worn by motorists rather than merely have it hanging from the handle bar or placed on the boot of the their bikes. This week , over 500 helmetless motorists walked away with a receipt of Rs 100 as well as a free helmet given by the citiy’s traffic police. The traffic police fined them Rs 100 and gifted them helmets in an attempt to create awareness on the subject.
As part of a special drive on safety, the North Division Traffic Police formed several teams after identifying sensitive areas where many people ride without a helmet. After they were gifted brand new helmets, motorists had to write an undertaking not to ride bikes without safety gear. We chat with youngsters in the city to find out about what they think.
Aaron S George feels that this initiative will work only to an extent. He adds, “Although what the police is doing is greatly appreciable, giving a free helmet and fining will not really help. I travel almost 30 kms everyday for classes. Among the people I see riding without a helmet, 60 per cent of them already have one. What I think would work instead of free helmets would be to increase the fine. People abroad think twice before riding without helmets as the fines are hefty. Now-a-days, 100 rupees is nothing, rather people will be thrilled to get a new helmet. Raising the fine amount to alteast Rs1000 will make people think twice before breaking this rule.”
Stanli Verghese feels that this initiative will not be taken very seriously by motorists. He says, “I am someone who wears a helmet even if it’s about heading to a shop that’s probably a stone’s throw away from my place. therefore I do believe that people need their helmet all the time. Fining them just Rs 100 is useless as most people do not take it as a fine. These days from what I have noticed, people who are caught without a helmet pay just Rs 50 and escape. `Rs 100 too is easily affordable so it doesn't make a difference. Although this initiative is a great step forward to ensure lesser accidents, giving out free helmets to a person who already has a helmet is a waste. Rather I feel people to made aware of the consequences of not wearing one.”
This software professional feels that awareness is the only solution to curb this problem. Tulasi Prasad says, “I have seen a lot of people near Tilak Nagar who ride without their helmets. I think it is mostly in the small lanes where people are bold enough as no policeman will be there. Buying a helmet has become very affordable these days and motorists may not take this move seriously.”
R. Hitendra, Additional Commissioner of Traffic, says, “There has been no improvement since this initiative started. The motorists still believe that it’s his head and doesn't get why other people are bothering about his head. Having said this they are just happy to get a free helmet.”...