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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Two-wheelers make for a deadly ride

Puja Changoiwala, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 25, 2013
First Published: 01:05 IST(25/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:06 IST(25/4/2013)

In the city's teeming traffic, being on a two-wheeler is probably your worst bet if you want a safe journey, police figures show.

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According to a recent survey conducted by the Mumbai traffic police, motorcyclists (including pedestrians and cyclists) are the most vulnerable road users, having contributed 82.8% to the total number of deaths on roads last year. Of these, 31% were motorcyclists alone.

On April 10, 16-year-old Isub Khan died when the bike he was riding with two other minors was hit by a speeding car in Juhu.

The three boys were not wearing helmets, flouting the norm for maximum people on a bike, to say nothing of the fact that they were underaged and didn't have a driving licence.

Traffic police say most motorcyclists fall in the age bracket of 21 to 30 years and despite the several measures, offenders remain undeterred.

A consistently high number of accidents are reported in the city each year.

Last year, 2,17,247 people were fined for riding without a helmet, and more than 60,000 have already been penalised so far this year.

Till March 31, the traffic police fined 67,245 bikers for riding without helmets, 26,516 for signal jumping and 1,151 for speaking on mobile phones while riding, among other offences.

A total of 1,79,587 bikers have been booked in the first quarter of this year for various offences under the Motor Vehicles Act, said Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police, traffic.

Since bikers are victims of a majority of fatalities on the city's roads, experts say they have to put the onus on themselves, and commit to their own safety and that of others so they can ensure that there is a decline in the number of road accidents and deaths.

"If you consider the number of accidents on the JJ flyover over the past few years, most of them involved young motorcyclists," said Allka Shah, member of a road safety advisory board to the Mumbai police.

"This was why they are now prohibited from using the JJ flyover. But you can still see several of them using it. Bikers have to be more responsible for their own safety,"

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