Woman biker refuses to pay fine for not wearing helmet, video of spat with cops goes viral
As police and transport departments in Odisha started enforcing traffic rules, the video of a woman motorcyclist in Cuttack refusing to pay a fine for not wearing a helmet has gone viral on social media.
On Sunday morning, the woman identified as Pritimayee Nanda of the city’s Buxibazar area was stopped by the traffic police at Madhupatna square for not wearing a helmet while riding her two-wheeler.
Nanda was asked to pay a penalty of Rs 1000 under the amended Motor Vehicle Act. Instead of paying up, she picked an argument with the policemen saying she never wore a helmet in the past and would not do so in the future as well.
“If they want to seize the vehicle let them but I am not going to pay the fine at any cost. I don’t want to wear a helmet because it’s my choice. If I die, it is a loss to my family members and police have nothing to do. Do what you can. If you want to take the keys of my vehicle take it and if necessary take me as well,” she is heard saying in the video.
“Do you want licence documents of the vehicle? Should I paste a licence on my body? The government makes several announcements but does it really follow [them]. Will the rules always be stricter like this?” she asked.
Cuttack’s deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Akhileswar Singh said Nanda later paid the necessary penalty and left.
The Odisha government started enforcing the norms under the MV act after a relaxation of three months on Sunday.
The father of a minor boy in Cuttack also paid a penalty of Rs 6000 for letting his son ride his two-wheeler without a helmet as well as talking over the phone while driving.
“I admit my son made a mistake. I will ask him to follow traffic rules hereafter,” Surendra Sahu, the boy’s father, said.
Though the government has given a relaxation of another three months for people to obtain documents like driving licence, pollution under control certificate and fitness certificate, officials said enforcement against over speeding, jumping the signal, drunken driving, driving against flow of traffic, using mobile phone while driving, dangerous driving, triple riding on two-wheelers, not wearing helmet and seat belts and overloading will be strict.
In the capital city of Bhubaneswar, closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras have been installed at several important traffic squares to keep a track on violators and e-challans will be issued against the registration numbers. High-end automatic number plate reader machines will also keep an eye on traffic violators.
To detect and display speed on different roads, the commissionerate of police has also installed Radar Speed Signs at 10 locations in the city. To make people aware about the traffic rules, it has also installed public address systems at several important junctions—Rupali Square, Kalpana square, Airport square, Nicco Park square, Kalinga Hospital square and Patia square in Bhubaneswar.
“We will intensify our drive against drunken driving. Offenders will be sent to the jail instantly apart from penalties that will be levied on them as per the rules,” Bhubaneswar’s DCP (traffic), Sagarika Nath, said.
Odisha government’s focus on stricter enforcement of MV Act comes in the backdrop of rising road fatalities in the last five years. From 3931 deaths in 2014, the casualties due to road accidents have gone up to 5315 or by 35% in 2018.
“The strategies adopted by the state government to reduce the fatalities have not brought the desired results. Result-oriented action at the ground level does not appear to have been taken,” the Supreme Court committee on road safety had said recently.