Day one of ‘no helmet, no petrol’ rule implemented by the district administration in Indore played out like a Tom and Jerry show —with abundant slyness, arguments and clever escapes.
Though there was an uptick in the number of two-wheeler riders with helmet on Saturday, scofflaws too were abundant.
The ‘no helmet, no petrol’ rule was first implemented in April 2015 to riders to wear helmet. But the administration had to back out after the Indore bench of High Court stayed the order on April 7, 2015, in response to a PIL filed by a lawyer. However, the high court quashed the petition on Thursday.
The city’s brief tryst with helmet rule had its effect. In 2015, the number of road accident deaths due to head injury had come down to 100 from 122 in 2014.
On Saturday, Several fuel pump owners refused petrol to helmetless riders fearing suspension of their trade licence. They refused to let helmetless riders on their premises.
The rule left a lot of motorbikers hotheaded. Arguments broke out at some of the pumps.
Indore Petrol Pump Dealers Association secretary Paras Jain said the district administration implemented the order at very short notice.
“Due to the short notice, many people arrived at the pumps without helmets, and heated arguments broke out at some places where pumps had to be shut down in the afternoon for about an hour,” Jain told HT.
Collector P Narahari said, “It doesn’t matter whether the rule was implemented from today (Saturday) or whether it was implemented from February 1. Everyone should follow the directive as it is in larger public interest.”
Some petrol pump owners had found a way around to safeguard their sales. The pump employees were themselves providing helmet to the two-wheeler drivers, asking them to deposit it back once they had filled up.
A petrol pump owner who offered helmets said, “At least we were not charging anything. I can give examples of places where four to five helmets are kept on a table and two-wheeler drivers are charged Rs 5 for using the helmet”.
Many people were seen riding into the pump wearing helmet, and riding out without helmets. And there were a few who were begging for helmet to fill up.