Helmet exemption to women: Are male, female skulls different, HC asks Chandigarh admn
While Punjab, Haryana exempts Sikh women from wearing helmet, in Chandigarh all women are exempted.punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2018 09:45 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday came down heavily on the tricity police for failing to rein in traffic violators who drive without helmets.
The high court (HC) also questioned as to how the Chandigarh administration has exempted all women from wearing the headgear. “Is there a difference between the skull of a male and a female?” the bench of justices AK Mittal and AS Grewal said, as UT’s senior standing counsel Suvir Sehgal sought more time to respond, stating the UT was yet to decide whether it should make helmet mandatory for women.
HC warned Punjab and Haryana govts that it will be forced to summon DGPs of both the states if it is dissatisfied with the measures taken by the governments to force two-wheeler riders to follow the helmet rules.
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which mandates headgear for all who are riding a two-wheeler, also permits state governments to make relaxation to some categories. It is under these rules that Punjab and Haryana exempt only Sikh women from wearing helmets while Chandigarh exempts all women.
HC was hearing a suo motu petition on rising number of fatalities due to two-wheeler accidents involving women who are exempted from wearing helmets on city roads. In the past three years, 24 women riding two-wheelers have lost their lives and 85 have sustained injuries.
Act or will summon DGPs: HC
The HC bench also warned Punjab and Haryana governments that it will be forced to summon director generals of police (DGPs) of both the states if it is dissatisfied with the measures taken by the governments to force two-wheeler riders to follow the helmet rules.
“The moment you step out of Chandigarh, the situation is even pathetic. Shouldn’t we do something?” the HC bench said, adding that police should crack down on triple and helmetless riding. “ Majority of the cases are borderline. Once you start crackdown, they would fall in line,” the bench remarked. The bench also observed that police should adopt modern techniques of cashless challans and arming policemen with cameras.