CHENNAI: Almost 95 per cent of the core city dwellers and 85 per cent of those living in the suburbs complied with the mandatory helmet wearing notification issued by the government which came into force on Wednesday, as observed by the City Police Commissioner, S George, who said that the force was very happy with the compliance of Chennaites.
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On day one, during the first three hours (9 am-12 noon) of enforcement, as many as 467 cases of violations were booked, of which 222 led to impounding of documents and in the rest of cases vehicles were impounded. “It was the other way round earlier as only a 15 pc of the total 35 lakh two-wheeler population in the city wore helmets,” he observed.
Citing it to be a clear sign of progress made in terms of reaching out to the Chennaites, George said that the wide publicity on helmets being made mandatory through notification following the High Court orders had helped on sensitisation. “Now the people realise it is for their own safety we insist on wearing helmets,” he said.
George said that the deviation on Wednesday was witnessed among the age group between 20 and 25 and that most of them were pillion riders and children. “Though we initially emphasised only the riders handling the vehicle wear helmets, the City Police would take measures in reaching the cent per cent compliance in using helmets in due course,” he said.
“We have earmarked a team of about 300 officials who would randomly enforce the helmet wearing across the city. Two acknowledgment receipt books — one for the original documents and the other for vehicles while impounding for deviation had been handed over to the team,” he added.
According to the statistics, as many as 571 two-wheeler riders were killed in road accidents, of which only three were wearing helmets in 2014. Similarly, 655 two-wheeler riders were killed in 2013 and only 12 of them wore helmets. Until May this year, as many as 227 were killed and only four of them rode with helmet. “I believe that there will be a visible dip in the number of two-wheeler fatalities this year when the compliance rate is high,” George said. Statistics revealed that there was a dip in the total number of fatal accidents. The city saw 1,341 accidents in 2013 while it recorded 1,083 in 2014 and 460 this year up to June 28. George attributed the reason of better traffic rules enforcement for the decreasing trend. As many as 58,772 cases were booked in 2013 for not wearing helmets while 51,305 were booked in 2014. Until June 15, 2015, 98,764 were booked.