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Awareness drive for helmets for kids

Motorcycle gear dealers say the demand children’s helmets is very low because of such helmets are mostly imported and have a high cost.

delhi Updated: Sep 02, 2018 23:51 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Traffic Police,Helmets,Awareness drive
Delhi Traffic Police will soon start an awareness campaign for parents to mandatorily get children riding on two-wheelers to wear helmets. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Next time you take your children for a ride on a two-wheeler, make sure they wear a helmet or be prepared to get a lesson on road safety from the Delhi Traffic Police. To ensure the safety of children, officials said they will start an awareness campaign for parents to mandatorily get children riding on two-wheelers to wear helmets.

A senior officer said the Delhi Traffic Police would stop people on two-wheelers carrying children, and advise them about the importance of helmet for children. An awareness campaign has already kicked off in several schools.

Though the law is unclear on the status of penalties on adults for carrying children on two-wheelers without protective gear, the idea is to bring down fatalities among the age-group, a senior official said.

“Children have sensitive skulls and the possibility of them getting gravely injured is greater than adults. However, when it comes to protecting them in accidents we have a lax attitude,” said joint commissioner of police (traffic) Alok Kumar.

Kumar said the problem is that people usually treat helmets as a means to avoid fines rather than protecting them against crashes. “Unless it attracts a fine people will not follow it,” Kumar said.

Sooraj Mahadev a motorcycle gear retailer at Karol Bagh said keeping helmets for children ends in a loss making proposition. “Helmets for children are mostly high-quality imported ones and have no buyers. A family that only owns a two-wheeler would not spend Rs 2000-Rs 2500 for children’s helmets,” Mahadev said.

If helmets are made mandatory for children the demand may increase, he said.

Data shared by the SaveLIVE Foundation, an NGO that works on road safety, shows that since 2008, over 55,000 children have lost their lives in road accidents across the country. In 2016 alone, 7% of victims in road crash deaths were children below 18 years.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says using child-restraint systems in cars and helmets while riding pillion, decreases the risk of death in a crash by about 70% for infants and 54-80% for small children.

Dr Nirupa Bhattacharya, a Gurugram-based neurologist, said parents should not take injuries of children from two-wheelers lightly. “Children below the age of one year should not even be allowed to travel in two-wheelers. For children protective gear should be made compulsory because injuries to cervical spine and brain can even cause death,” Bhattacharya said.

First Published: Sep 02, 2018 23:51 IST