The safe ride to change

The safe ride  to change

The campaigns meant to instill the need for wearing helmets seem to have borne fruit as one sees less of two-wheeler riders without helmets these days. According to Bengaluru Traffic Police, the numbers of riders without helmets have dipped.

While people say it is uncomfortable riding with helmets on, they understand the importance of it and getting only those with ISI mark. While some people think wearing a helmet not only saves lives but helps keep the smoke and dust out, others feel it makes no sense to wear a helmet for short distances.

Roopa Doraiswamy, a homemaker, advocates use of helmets strongly. “You must wear it at all times. I wear one whenever I step out, even to a nearby shop. It’s a safety gear that must be taken seriously,” says Roopa.

There is another category that feels it is indeed uncomfortable to wear helmets and give it a miss altogether and fall under the category of a perpetual offender.  Abbe, a student who is also into filmmaking says that he slips on a helmet only when he sees a cop in sight. “I don’t believe in wearing a helmet but I wear it so that I don’t get caught by the cops,” he says.  

B Dayananda, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), states that last year, those caught for not using helmets, topped the list of violations but he confirms that the numbers seemed to have dipped a little this year. “We’ve noticed that compliance for wearing helmets has increased among two-wheeler riders. We conducted special drives at various times of the day such as early morning, from 6 am to 8 am, mid-afternoon and late night as well. Some people don’t wear helmets for a short distance, especially in residential areas. Our campaigns focussed on rooting out this problem,” he says. He thinks people are slowly making it a habit to wear a helmet. Vivek Menon, an urban planner and head the infrastructure subcommittee at CiSTUP, IISc thinks only women and the elderly care to wear helmets but feels a majority of the men don’t think twice before flouting the law. “Although the cops claim to be enforcing the rule, I don’t find them doing so in a serious way. I still find a lot of two-wheeler riders jumping the signal without wearing the helmet,” he says. Vivek finds that there is a proliferation of all kinds of helmets. “Earlier, you would find people buying only those helmets with an ISI stamp on them. Now, people have begun picking up random helmets of all shapes. Even the cops don’t enforce a uniform rule and prescribe what kind of helmets must be worn. This plays an important role in getting people to indirectly follow the rule,” reasons Vivek.   

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