Helmet-petrol link fails

Petrol pumps in Bengaluru ignore ‘No helmet, no petrol’ rule. It’s impractical, staff say
Last Updated 23 August 2019, 13:53 IST

The traffic police launched a safety initiative --- ‘No helmet, no petrol’ --- on August 5. It remains on paper, with almost zero implementation.

More of an awareness campaign than a rule, police have directed petrol stations not to sell fuel to two-wheeler riders coming in without helmets. The idea is to encourage helmet wearing.

Metrolife visited petrol bunks in HSR Layout, Jakkasandra, Malleswaram and Seshadripuram, and assistants working there had no clue whether it had to be strictly followed.

Not aware

Staff at the Bharat Petroleum bunk in Malleswaram were not aware of the campaign. In Seshadripuram, an official asked this reporter if the instructions had to be followed strictly.

Not enforced

Prithviraj, owner of Sangam Service Station, Malleswaram, says the police did make an announcement but nobody follows it.

“The police said they would send some standees and posters to promote the idea. We were only asked to advise customers about the importance of wearing helmets, and not to go harsh on them,” he told Metrolife.

The manager of a petrol bunk in Seshadripuram says no directive came from the Bangalore Petroleum Dealers Association (BPDA).

“It is not being followed as it is not easy to follow it,” he says. He wonders why the petrol trade is being asked to enforce safety rules on customers.

“The police should do it. We are okay with the police fixing cameras on our premises and monitoring customers,” he says.

Trade not against the idea

B R Ravindranath, president of Bangalore Petroleum Dealers Association (BPDA), says the trade is not opposing the idea. “We believe the police department must first create awareness about the rule and then implement it,” he says. “For any law to be implemented, the public should be informed beforehand.” He says traders have absolutely no problem in following the rule, but the police and the media should take up the responsibility of promoting such causes.

Cops coming up with new plan

P Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), admits the initiative didn’t go as intended. “There are things to be sorted out. Though the rule is in place, many petrol pump owners have apprehensions, which we have to address. We have requested them to cooperate. As of now, we are encouraging voluntary participation of pump owners and making a new plan,” he told Metrolife.

Major concern

What worries petrol bunk owners the most is that they lose business and leave customers agitated when they refuse to serve them.

Where else?

Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh (Noida and Aligarh) are states where the ‘no helmet, no petrol’ campaign is being carried out.

(Published 23 August 2019, 12:58 IST)

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