On Day 1, few pillion riders wear helmet; cops soft

On Day 1, few pillion riders wear helmet; cops soft

Few people riding pillion on motorcycles in Bengaluru cared to wear helmet on Tuesday, the first day of a rule which mandates that pillion riders wear the protective gear. But the traffic police were soft on the violators and didn’t fine even a single offender.

The police spent much part of the day spreading awareness on the new rule. Traffic police personnel in Electronics City and KR Puram handed over roses and chocolates to motorists who were not wearing helmet.

“None of the helmetless pillion rider was fined on Tuesday. We will continue the awareness drive till January 20 before we start enforcing the rule strictly and punish the offenders,” M A Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), told Deccan Herald.

A traffic inspector put the number of pillion riders wearing helmet at “five in 500”. He, however, hoped the percentage would go up at the end of the week-long awareness campaign on the rule.

Among the obedient few was Punith Gowda, a businessman from Rajajinagar. He rode pillion on the two-wheeler of his business partner Able Devasia. Supriya S B, a student from Vasanthnagar, said that she spotted a policeman riding pillion without wearing a helmet.

Ramesh Naidu, who runs Helmet Paradise store on Lalbagh Road, said the sale of the protective gear had gone up by just five per cent. But Padmanabhan T of Galaxy Helmets, Thippasandra, didn’t see any such spike in demand.

Critics of the rule said the State government was “misleading” the public by quoting the Supreme Court. K R Sheshu Prasad of Anti-Helmet Association said the government was “lying”. “It was just a recommendation by the Supreme Court’s road safety committee to all the states, which is advisory in nature. Many states haven’t enforced the rule since 95 per cent of the users are against it as it causes undue hardship to motorists. The rule applies only to 200cc motorcycles. This rule will only lead to corruption in the police,” Seshu said, adding that many riders have died in road accidents despite wearing helmet.

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