BENGALURU: A final decision on the contentious issue of helmets for pillion riders will be taken after the public hearing on September 27.
The recent announcement on making helmets compulsory for pillion riders created quite a stir in the city with strong objections from Bengalureans. With neighbouring Kerala and Tamil Nadu making it compulsory recently, the sale of helmets, which are cheaper in the city, zoomed considerably. Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda said the Department will hold a public hearing on Sunday. “A decision will be taken after that.”
“If the government passes an order, we will implement it in 8-10 days,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem. Noting that the proposal is a good one, he said, “It has been observed that pillion riders are more at risk in accidents as they are at the mercy of the riders and have no control over the vehicle. During accidents, a pillion rider tends to get injured grievously.”
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy had announced a couple of days ago that helmets will be made mandatory for pillion riders in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad and Belagavi from November. He had said the penalty for not wearing helmet will be `100 and it will be categorised as a general offence.
According to Traffic Department data, the number of fatalities due to road accidents among two-wheeler riders has shown a steady slump since 2006 after wearing helmets was made compulsory for riders. Someshwar, a resident of HSR Layout, said, “Instead of making helmets compulsory for pillion riders, the government should focus on building proper roads.”
A study published by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences suggests that beside building road infrastructure, the government should concentrate on safety issues to bring down fatalities due to head injuries.