Wear helmet, 'sprint queen' tells women in Capital

Joining the list of celebrities who have associated themselves with different campaigns of the police, the country’s ‘sprint queen’ P T Usha launched the traffic police’s ‘strap the helmet’ campaign on Sunday.

Former athlete P T Usha straps a helmet as joint commissioner of police (traffic) Satyendra Garg looks on at a campaign organised by the traffic police on Sunday. PTI Photo

She flagged off the campaign at Maharshi Raman Marg in central Delhi, and asked women driving two-wheelers as well as those riding pillion to wear helmets.

“Women in the Capital must wear helmet even though it is not mandatory for them. It is for their safety,” said Usha.

Traffic rules exempt women from wearing a helmet while driving two-wheelers. But in case of men, it is compulsory for both the driver and the pillion rider to wear one.

While 66 women riding two-wheelers died in accidents in Delhi in 2010, the number came down to 50 last year. A total of 640 people riding two-wheelers died in accidents in 2011, which is almost one-third of the total cases of fatal road accidents in the Capital.

Traffic cops say they have been asking women drivers to wear helmets.  “We can’t compel women to wear helmets as the law does not mandates so. We are just suggesting them to comply with it,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).

Garg said the traffic police plans to use the former Olympian as an ambassador for the campaign to persuade women to wear helmets.

“She has already agreed to allow her photographs to be pasted on helmets. Moreover, the traffic police will also come up with a print advertisement within a week. In it, Usha will ask women to wear a helmet even if it is not mandatory,” Garg added.

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