The Pune Police Commissioner recently announced and forewarned Puneites that his department would implement strict regulations (From 1.1.2019) to ensure city riders wear helmets as per the provision of law.
Given the significant increase in the road accident fatalities over the past few years, this definitely is a welcome move.
However, despite repeated pleas by the police, media and NGO’s, Puneites seem to be indifferent to the idea of wearing a helmet to protect their own life.
“I was wearing one only on the first because the police are normally serious with such regulations on important days, knowing that there will be multiple cases to fine and people to be prosecuted,” says a Kondhwa resident working at a city-based IT company.
Karim Ahmed, a garage owner shares how he was finally able to convince his wife to wear a helmet.
“At least with this fear, she has taken it seriously. I think this is a welcome move, but like the past, even this time we may fail in making Pune a helmet-mandatory city.
We need to start from home. It is not only the authorities who have to take care of us, we know that helmets are going to help drivers on the roads. It is random and pointless excuses and just peoples ego about adhering to a law that is responsible for loss of lives in the city.
“I believe, every parking spot, institution, colleges, restaurants, markets etc should make it a point to only let vehicles with helmets to enter or park in the premises. If they want to take it lightly unless forced, then give them a taste of their own medicine,” Ahmed exclaims.
“Helmets are uncomfortable and block my vision while riding on the roads”, this is what Preeti Janghiani’s excuse was for not wearing a helmet.
“We need to develop a habit to adopt driving with a helmet on and that will take time. You can’t expect miracles to happen.
Even though I do understand the dangers of not wearing a helmet, there are such practical difficulties that need to be dealt with. But, I will surely try wearing one ever time I am driving on the roads,” Preeti adds.
“We have heard some strange excuses from people for not wearing a helmet, the best being, “fakt aaj visarla, udya pasun ghalil,” (I forgot it today, will wear it tommorow), shares a Traffic policeman on duty.
We even have people who start arguing with us on how the authorities aren’t paying attention to other matters of the city and this is why they are revolting against it by not wearing a helmet.
Everything is being worked on by priority and the citizens should accept those laws that are in place and help us keep the city safe,” he quips.
A road side helmet vendor however shares that he did see a rise in the sale of helmets in the past couple of days. “Till last night, I had customers buying helmets and most of them were females.
It is probably because of the fear of the mandatory helmet rule that is soon to be implemented in the city. But, I too have seen helmet-less drivers standing on the signal, in the presence of the police without being penalised or questioned.
“They are not even bothered about the presence of a policeman at the signal or the fact that they may be caught and penalised for not wearing one.
I wonder what will help if the fear of police and one’s own life isn’t important to these riders in the city?
#All views are those of the respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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