Riders caught unawares as cops seize non-ISI helmets

Riders caught unawares as cops seize non-ISI helmets

Riders caught unawares as cops seize non-ISI helmets

Vehicle users, in the city, were caught unawares as the police intensified the drive for compulsory helmets for two-wheeler riders.

On Tuesday, the police were intercepting two-wheelers and took away helmets without ISI mark from riders. People had no option, but, grumble as they lost their helmets.

In what, the City Police describe as 'Operation Safe Ride', from 10 am to 1.30 pm, 15,501 helmets without ISI mark were seized from the riders at various places across the city.

"In view of safety, both, the riders and pillion riders, should wear helmets with ISI mark. Despite the police personnel trying to create awareness among the people, vehicle users have been wearing helmets which do not match the prescribed standards. Even though the helmets have been seized, they will be returned once the vehicle owners buy helmets with ISI marks and produce them at the jurisdictional police stations," states a press note.

"Riders of two-wheelers should compulsorily wear helmets with ISI mark. The drive for the safety of riders will continue. Last year also, the Traffic Police personnel had conducted raids on shops selling sub-standard helmets and had seized 1,390 helmets. The raids on helmet shops will continue," the press release stated.

T S Srivathsa, a member of BJP state executive committee, said that there is no consistent policy on helmets, even though of late, the rules have become stringent.

"Earlier, the governments would introduce the helmet rule and withdraw it at will. Since, the directions of the Supreme Court for strict adherence to the rule, the governments, especially, the Police department, have been implementing the policy in their own way. Later, the Supreme Court made helmets for pillion riders also compulsory. By implementing the helmet rule alone, the Police department has become a revenue earning organ of the government. In future, the fine collected from violators of traffic rules alone can sustain the Police department," he said.

"Of late, most of the riders in Mysuru city have been adhering to the helmet rule. So, the collection of revenue to the Police department has reduced. Hence, they have taken the drive to the next level. Now, they are checking for another rule in the policy. Why did not the police implement the ISI mark rule earlier? If it was insisted earlier itself, all riders would have purchased helmets with ISI mark only. Now, as most of them have bought sub-standard helmets, it is an unnecessary financial burden on the vehicle users," he said.

Srivathsa said that the MLAs and the district in-charge minister should rush to the rescue of the vehicle users.

Introduce 'Helmet Bhagya'

Mahesh Raje Urs, director of Arasu Mandali Sangha, said that nowadays two-wheelers are not a luxury, but, a necessity for one's travel needs. "Even daily wage workers use two-wheelers. However, the police personnel has been fleecing them, citing various rules. The launch of the drive on Tuesday morning looks like the imposition of the Emergency by then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Does the law permit the police personnel to seize the helmets? With the surprise implementation of the rule, there is a scarcity of helmets- don't know if it is artificial as the traders would have got inside information from the police - of ISI mark helmets in shops. Like various Bhagyas of the state government, if 'Helmet Bhagya' is announced, people will heave a sigh of relief," he said.

Citing the clarification of the police that the seized helmets would be returned on producing helmets with ISI mark, Urs asked, what is the use as they are anyways not accepted? "Why is the production of helmets without ISI mark permitted in the first place, if it is not acceptable?" he asked.

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