Riding without helmet: After HC rap, 627 women challaned in Panchkula
After the Punjab and Haryana high court rap, the Panchkula police have cracked down on women riding two-wheelers without wearing a helmet.
Between June 1 and 15, 627 women riders have been challaned for the traffic offence in Panchkula.
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, mandates headgear for all who are riding two-wheelers, but permits state governments to make relaxation to some categories. While Chandigarh exempts all women riders from wearing helmet, the states of Punjab and Haryana have exempted only Sikh women.
However, the two states have been found wanting in implementation of the rules.
Hearing a suo motu petition on rising number of fatalities due to two-wheeler accidents involving women, the high court had issued notices to Haryana, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to make helmets compulsory for women. “Is there a difference between the skull of a male and a female?” the HC bench had questioned during a hearing in March this year, while warning Haryana and Punjab that it will be forced to summon the director generals of police (DGPs) of both states if it is dissatisfied with the measures taken by the governments.
“We have initiated challaning of women riding two-wheelers without helmet this month. Our teams are also carrying out awareness drives for women at all nakas,” said Vijay Deswal, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), traffic. “Whether it’s a man or a woman, headgear protects everyone.”
Sources said the Panchkula police received orders from the higher authorities in the last week of May to ensure strict implementation of traffic rules.
The orders exempt only Sikh women wearing turban and those having a medical reason, for which a certificate is needed, said inspector Surender, station house officer, traffic.
During the fortnight, police have also challaned 976 men for helmetless riding.