Your space: Make it a habit to wear helmet, say residents
Pune traffic incharge bodies have made wearing helmet compulsory from January 1 based on the risk and increasing rate of accidents in cityUpdated: Nov 25, 2018 15:08 IST
Many residents of Pune who do not wear helmet cite many reasons, including that they feel uncomfortable while wearing it and wearing the head gear spoil the hairstyle of men and women. With increasing population and increase in number of vehicles that run on road on day-to-day basis, Pune traffic incharge bodies have made wearing helmet compulsory from January 1 based on the risk and increasing rate of accidents in city. If one does not wear a helmet, by paying fine one can bypass the rule. However, it is of utmost importance to understand that there are solid reasons behind compulsion on helmet based on past accident data. Traffic police want people to live a happy life on road and off road. One should wear a helmet even if it is not law abiding as it hardly cost Rs 1,000 or even less and can be used for decades or even more.
Helmet move will bring change if not a big change
I really appreciate the Pune police’s move to make wearing helmet compulsory, because it is necessary as our roads are getting wider, so accordingly, the speeds of vehicles increase too. Hence, the chances of accidents increase too, which is not good as there are already a lot of accidents happening with people wearing helmets and people who are not. So, this helmet move will bring change if not a big change. I really support it. I have been using a helmet since as long as I got my vehicle. And trust me it is useful. You don’t need to squint your eyes when it’s sunny, because when you squint your eyes after a long ride your eyes are in pain and you head aches cause of squinting so much. So, the advantages of helmet are lot more than disadvantages! So, I am totally in support of helmets!
City must follow the Nagpur model
It is sad that in Pune where the number of two-wheeler vehicles in the city is one of the highest in Asia, we have a situation where the mandatory rule of wearing helmets has to be enforced by the police authorities. Helmets should be used voluntarily by all the citizens using two-wheeler. However, given the strong resistance to this in the past by the Punekars, enforcing this rule is the best option. Also, the authorities must take some action against the vehicle dealers who don’t provide helmets at the time of sale of two-wheeler vehicles which is mandatory according to the regional transport office (RTO) norms. HT had earlier reported about the two-wheeler vehicle dealers not abiding to these norms. Strong action should be taken against such dealers as well. Helmets are important while driving and it must be used by everyone. Nagpur police made helmet use compulsory. Earlier there was resistance by the citizens, however, eventually use of helmets in Nagpur increased by over 80 per cent. Hence, police action in this regard in Pune is a must.
I think citizens don’t really care for their own head
Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit…” says Elbert Hubbard. But when it comes to wearing a helmet, Punekars seem to be very much together on exceeding the limit of foolishness is all I can say! Last many days I have been reading about a row on making helmet wearing while riding a two-wheeler compulsory by the authorities (read police) and then there are news about people unitedly standing against this rule!
Well, when it comes to public discipline, Punekars’ certainly are not best ranked, not even our country, leave alone the world! And when it’s about following traffic rules lesser we speak is the better and for that with all due respect the blame equally goes to the police force as fear (I am deliberately using the term fear and not just respect) for law has to be there in the mind of the common man and that is the job of police which they have failed. And that’s why every new police chief has to take the call of masses even for implementing a rule (read as law) as simple as helmet wearing when in every other city like Delhi or Mumbai has been successfully implementing it. Even tourist’s delight Goa also has this rule and followed! Now let’s keep away the law thing, as a two-wheeler rider also when nearly 90% road accidents in the city are of two-wheeler and nearly equal per cent of deaths occurred in these accidents are by head injury is known, yet if the citizens in Pune think they don’t want to use helmets, then I think they don’t really care for their own head!
And the reasons which are given for not using helmets are one can’t see the traffic on both sides while driving, the speed of the traffic is slow already, the road conditions are poor, helmet carrying is a problem, some even went to the extreme that this is in the benefit of helmet manufacturers. Wow, I loved the last logic as for saving your own head why somebody else would benefit as by this logic in flights and cars, one should be saying seat belts are compulsory because of seat belt manufacturers! I think Punekars just love to oppose everything as that has become their identity in a way or else why this simple thing of wearing helmet would have become a question of city’s survival like issue! What is unfortunate is the citizens who joins hands against helmet use comfortably ignore towards the root cause of need of helmet and that is nearly thirty million two-wheelers on road and mess of public transport system.
As there is no space left on road now to accumulate more vehicles resulting in immense increase in road collisions (well our traffic sense too is a reason), but instead of accommodating our own safety by use of helmet and joining hands for demanding better public transport we always choose the easy way — oppose helmet! I don’t deny the problems of carrying helmet and driving with it on, but I know one thing — “problem exists only if you exist in first place!” Do I need to explain in more words to the so called enlighten citizens of this city which takes pride in consider itself as a Smart City!
Strict action against offenders will help
I hope this time around, Punekars take the rule seriously and abide by it. I don’t understand why we find it difficult to follow orders, especially when it is for our own good. Recently, authorities took up the anti-spitting campaign pretty seriously and the action against offenders was bang on. Maybe, some serious action like this against non-helmet users may help.
Hike in fine may help implement the rule
I remember a few years ago this was a topic of debate and even then the authorities had enforced a rule. However, nothing happened. We are back to see two-wheeler riders risk their lives and others by not wearing helmets. A hike in fine may help get them to wear helmets. Also, just a suggestion, by linking buying of helmets and issuing two-wheeler licences could help in implementing the helmet rule.