Helmets: Safety Drive by Police

Helmets please: 2 lakh booked in two months

        New Delhi: Even though a whopping two lakh two-wheeler riders have been prosecuted in the first two months of the year for not wearing helmets, violation of the law continues to claim lives. On Tuesday, three persons died in road accidents after suffering head injuries, and all were reportedly riding without helmets. 
        ‘‘Riding a two wheeler without a proper helmet is suicidal. According to a recent study conducted by NIMHANS, a majority of two wheeler riders who die in
road accidents succumb to head injuries.
       The government needs to come out with a clear mandate on this and people must start wearing helmets for their own safety,’’ said Rohit Baluja, president of Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE). 

         Traffic police records reveal that about 1,64,090 two wheeler riders and another 45,193 pillion riders have been prosecuted so far in 2008 for riding without helmets. But even after such a massive crackdown, two wheeler riders continue to die in accidents, mainly because of lack of awareness.
       ‘‘There is a tendency to buy a uncertified helmet from the roadside to save money or not wear a helmet at all because it gets suffocating in the heat. People need to understand that they need to adhere to this law for their own safety,’’ said Rupinder Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), headquarters. 

           Interestingly, the law about helmets states that merely having a helmet on your head is not enough. According to section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, every two wheeler rider must put on safety head gear, which is certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The helmet has to be fastened to the neck or one is liable for prosecution. 
         Similarly, under powers given to it by the Act, the Delhi government has excluded women riding pillion from wearing helmets. ‘‘Are women’s heads resistant to injuries?
Megha Suri | TNN

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