City based CSO slaps notice on government officials for contempt of the order of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court regarding enforcement of helmet compliance
Asks for immediate enforcement to arrest unacceptable two wheeler road deaths and injuries
Parisar, a group working on Road Safety in the city which is also a member of the District Road Safety Committee has sent a notice to the Director General of Police and the Transport Commissioner of Maharashtra, the Regional Transport Officer of Pune and both the Police Commissioners of Pune and PCMC for failing to ensure the strict compliance of the provisions of the law related to motor vehicles, specifically Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The Bombay High Court had passed an order on 16th July, 2003 directing the implementation of the provisions of Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 in the State of Maharashtra by making use of protective headgear compulsory for every person driving or riding (otherwise than in a sidecar) on a motor cycle of any class or description. In spite of the said judgment, a large number of drivers of two-wheeler vehicles continued to flout the mandatory provisions of Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Another Public Interest Litigation came to be filed before the Bombay High Court seeking a direction that the responsible authorities ensure that the said rule be complied with.
The Bombay High Court once again took note of the non-compliance of the previous order dated 16th July, 2003 and accordingly vide order dated 3rd March, 2005, directed that the provisions of the Act should be strictly implemented in the entire state of Maharashtra from 1st July, 2005.
Apart from that, the Supreme Court while dealing with the issue of enforcement of road safety norms, constituted a Committee to monitor and measure implementation of road safety laws in the country. The said Committee communicated to all the Chief Secretaries that the law be made applicable over all the States and Union Territories, both for the main riders and the pillion riders, and that strong and urgent measures be taken for its violation. The Supreme Court had also directed that the recommendations made by the Committee should be complied with.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways too has issued several communications on this issue from time to time, specifically urging the Principal Secretaries and the Transport Commissioner of all the States and Union Territories to monitor the compulsory wearing of helmets and to take strict action for non-compliance.
Despite orders and recommendations by various official bodies, a survey conducted by Parisar revealed that in Pune only 28% of riders and 1.1% of pillion riders wear a helmet. Ranjit Gadgil, the Programme Director of Parisar said, “Pune is one of the cities with very high number of two wheelers in the country, which is only increasing each year. The numbers of road fatalities over the years are absolutely shocking. Other than sporadic awareness programmes which seem like tokenism, no consistent effort has been taken by civic authorities to bring down these figures. We are left with no option but to take legal recourse. Many precious lives could have been saved had the helmet rule been enforced earlier. Though that loss can never be recovered, we hope to see corrective measures in the New Year. “
He shared the deductions they arrived at from the statistical data on two-wheeler crashes from 2005-2016 in Pune reports published by the Maharashtra CID
- A total of 1902 persons have died in these 12 years.
- The annual average number of persons killed in two-wheeler crashes for this period is 159.
- For the last 6 years (2011-2016) 1083 persons were killed (the annual average being 180.5) compared to the first 6 years (2005-2010) during which 819 persons were killed (the annual average being 136.5); In other words, there has been a 32% increase in the number of fatalities.
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