VIJAYAWADA: At a time when the police and road transport department officials started cracking down on two-wheeler riders without helmets by planning to impose fines, the public is of the opinion that the helmet rule is not viable for a small city like Vijayawada which has just 14 kilometers radius.
They further suggested to officials that wearing helmets should be made optional inside the city.
“As far as the city roads are concerned, I think there is no need for helmets while riding a bike. Helmets should be made compulsory on highways, not on the city roads,” said Balasubrahmanyam, a businessman.
Following directives of the Supreme Court order released in 2015, which clearly stated that all two wheeler drivers should wear helmets, district collector B Lakshmikantham released a note on August 28 calling all citizens to wear helmets from September 1. The State government also ordered all district collectors to begin the mandatory helmet rule in their respective districts.
However, people in the city have a different opinion. Vijayawada city has just two major roads - Eluru Road and Bandar Road - and police had set a speed limit of 40 km per hour. So, there is no scope to drive fast. Commuters feel that the rule should be scrapped as the main cause of head injuries is bad roads. “If there is no provision to drive fast, there is no possibility of fatal accidents. We have signals for every 500 meters and vehicles will not be able to cross 40 km per hour on an average,” said Satyanarayana, a working professional.
People feel the helmet rule must be enforced in the outskirts from where over 70 per cent accidents are reported. “With the face being covered, chain snatchers can easily escape making it difficult for the police to nab them. There are instances where helmets helped criminals to escape,” said Raj Kumar, a resident.
Commuters give head gear a slip
From Sept 1 to 16, both police and road transport officials lodged more than 25,000 cases imposing a fine of S100.
People raised questions about the viability of the rule, citing earlier instances when it did not work out
Commuters feel helmet necessary only on city’s outskirts.
Few complained that they find it difficult to ride wearing a helmet