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Bigger fines don’t cap helmet violations

Sights like this, from Old Airport Road, are commonplace throughout the city of Bangalore. - Photo by Shannon Ridge Court

 

By Aaditya Narayan
Bengaluru, September 8, 2016: Despite a ten-fold increase in vehicular fines last month, Bangalore has seen no reduction in the number of people riding two-wheelers without helmets. 2, 85, 920 people were booked in August and the police collected Rs. 3 Crores in fines.
The fine for riding a two-wheeler without a helmet was increased from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1000.


DCP, Traffic, East Division, Abhishek Goyal said, "The fines were increased, but we still catch a lot of people violating the rules, especially at places like MG Road and City Railway Station."


Bangalore City Traffic Police has already registered 19,90,044 cases in 2016 of two-wheeler riders without a helmet this year. The Karnataka Government had made it mandatory for pillion riders to wear a helmet too, and almost half the cases registered were of pillion riders without a helmet.
Sudharsan, a resident of Vijayanagar said, “Helmets are uncomfortable, and I know the spots where the police catch violators. So I avoid going to those roads.”


According to records at the Rajarajeshwari General Hospital on Mysore Road, 50 cases of injuries of varying degrees due to non-use of helmets were treated on an average every week from May to July.


Assistant Commissioner of Police (Planning), R.I. Qasim, says the situation is not different in many other parts of the city. "The implementation of the rule concerning the use of ISI-certified helmets is happening strictly now, because a lot of the injuries from accidents are caused by the use of sub-standard helmets."


According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), published in the Indian Journal for Neurotrauma in 2010, 91 per cent of the dead in fatal accidents of two-wheelers were ones who didn't wear a helmet, be it the rider or the pillion rider. Out of the fatal accidents involving two-wheelers, the most common mode of accident is a skid and fall. The study shows that among the 50 cases of fatalities studied, none of them was wearing a helmet.


Mr. Qasim says the Bangalore City Traffic Police have taken steps to curb helmet-less riding, but, he says, the only way it can be completely enforced is if the citizens were aware of the perils of riding without a helmet.

 

 

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