Delhi traffic police are preparing themselves for special drives to catch errant women drivers even as the state government is contemplating making helmets mandatory for them.
"We will use our women force in the drive to challan women riders and pillion riders without helmets. Our proposed women chase and challan squad may also be used for this drive," said a senior traffic police officer.
Sources said the women chase and challan squad is proposed to be in place within a month. Delhi traffic police have 470 women officers.
The traffic police have studied cases of fatal accidents of two wheelers involving helmet less women and found that pillion riders were more vulnerable to fatalities than the ones riding it.In 2010, 48 women, almost all without helmets, died in 48 two wheelers accidents of which 40 were pillion riders. Similarly, last year 47 women were killed in 46 two-wheeler accidents of which 42 were riding pillion. This year till April 15, 11 women were killed in accidents involving two-wheelers and all were riding pillion without helmets.
"About eight to 10% of people killed in two-wheeler accidents every year are women, who are mostly riding pillion without helmets. The main reason of these fatalities is not wearing helmets. They are equally vulnerable to road accidents as men," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
International Road Federation (IRF), a non-government organization working together with the union ministry of surface transport to bring down road fatalities nationwide, viewed that fatalities in accidents would significantly come down if helmets were made mandatory for women.
"To increase safety of two wheeler riders, countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Uganda have adopted Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative with positive results. Lack of dedication on part of policymakers in India has kept the country's road safety record dismal," said KK Kapila, chairman, IRF.