VIJAYAWADA: Enforcing the compulsory helmet rule for two-wheeler drivers has remained on paper. Though the state government has declared that it is mandatory to wear a helmet while driving a two-wheeler, there have been no efforts from either the transport department or the traffic police to implement the rule. Traffic police is issuing e-challans to violators but that does not deter the commuters.
Even after the High Court expressed displeasure over the steps taken by the two Telugu states to implement compulsory helmet rule, there has been no change in the situation. Hardly anyone in Vijayawada bothers to wear helmets and the traffic police remains mute spectators in most cases. Sometimes, the cops to issue challans. The High Court had ordered special drives to create awareness among the public and directed the authorities to book cases, including cancelling licences of the violators.
The transport department has brought a rule that makes it mandatory to buy a helmet along with any new bike. Though people do buy the helmets, it is another matter altogether to get them wear it. Statistics from the traffic department shows that two wheeler accidents top the list of fatalities. In Vijayawada commissionerate alone, one life is being lost every day and most of the victims turn out to be two-wheeler drivers.
In 2016, the traffic police in the city had booked 75,226 helmet-less drivers. The police issued e-challans to the vehicle owners. As the challans were being sent directly to their homes, people are not even interested to pay penalties. Only 34 per cent of the challans were realised in 2016. DCP, traffic, Kranti Rana Tata, said the traffic police was penalising helmet rule violators. “We have booked 2,200 cases for dangerous driving on bike riders in the last 10 days. Now, we are going to conduct a series of events on compulsory helmet rule along with the penalties,” Mr Tata said.