VELLORE: Even as police and the road transport departments continue to organize rallies to raise awareness on the importance of two-wheeler-riders wearing helmets, the unavailability of helmets and the consequent skyrocketing of its prices continue to trouble riders forcing many to keep off the road to avoid their vehicles being impounded by the police.
Some riders who ended up paying more than the MRP voiced their disappointment over the government’s inability to control retail outlets from fleecing customers. Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) should have ensured there were stocks available to meet the demand before the the rule was implemented, they pointed out.
They also suggested the need to redesign helmets as most of the helmets were copies of Western models.
“We need India-specific designs based on the heat and the visibility conditions with specially designed helmets for women also,” they pointed out.
While the government was right in implementing the ‘helmet rule’ following the High Court’s directive, R Chandrasekaran an activist, said the government should have declared the helmet an essential commodity and monitored its sales and availability. The government can also sell helmets through ration shops and Karpagam supermarkets at subsidized rates to counter private shops from fleecing people, he added.
Consumer activist T Basheeruddin said that while the government has announced the ‘helmet rule’ on several occasions following Court directives.