Police have a feast on first day, fining riders

As many as 2,642 motorists who rode with pillion without helmet were penalised by police, as part of the beginning of the new rule from Monday in Dakshina Kannada district.

“A total of 1,517 cases have been booked across 18 police stations within the Mangaluru City Police Commissionerate limits,” DCP (Crime and traffic) Sanjeev Patil told Deccan Herald.

He said that special teams have been formed in the Commissionerate limits for the implementation of the rule.

Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Dr Sharanappa S D said that 1,125 cases have been booked in rural areas coming under the superintendent’s jurisdiction and collected a fine of Rs 1,13,900. The drive against those who fail to wear helmets will continue, he said and appealed to the two-wheeler riders to comply with the law.

Steps for awareness
He reminded that the police had created awareness on the need for wearing helmets through bike rally, and visiting schools and colleges in rural areas.

There was, however, a mixed response from the public in Mangaluru to the State government’s notification making helmets for pillion riders mandatory. A few pillion were seen complying with the government’s order while a few were seen violating the order.

The police who swung into action in the morning were seen stopping the motorists at Ladyhill, Jyothi, Kankanady and other important locations, to crack a whip at the violators.

Though the State government had notified the mandatory helmet wear for pillion riders on December 28 – with a grace period of 15 days for two-wheeler riders to fall in line – the police in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts had given an additional grace period which ended on January 31.

“The law is applicable to the whole state and the grace period that the police had given to the public is over. The two-wheeler riders and pillion riders too should comply with the law or pay penalty,” warned the police.

Like hot cakes
Shops selling helmets in the Balmatta area of the City were, naturally, buzzing with activity. “I have purchased a helmet for my wife. Although she does not travel as a pillion with me very often, I have decided to purchase a helmet for her and abide by the rules rather than pay a penalty,” said Raju.

“Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, empowers the police to book two-wheeler riders for riding without helmets. The police have imposed a penalty of Rs 100 for the first offence. Penalty of Rs 300 will be imposed for the second and will recommend a suspension of the driving licence for the third offence. If a pillion rider fails to wear helmet, the two-wheeler rider will be penalised for violating the rules,” explained the police.

The State government introduced the rule after the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety directed the states to make helmets mandatory for pillion riders.

The traffic police in Udupi were seen on Monday stopping and imposing fines on pillion riders who failed to comply with the rules on mandatory helmet wear.

Some violators were seen trying to convince the police that helmets of particular sizes were not available in the market, that they had left the helmets at behind shops and banks or even trying to seek exemption from fine. The police, however, cracked a whip on the violators. The sale of helmets was brisk in shops in Udupi too, on Monday.
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