HYDERABAD: Following a directive from Hyderabad High Court, the Transport Department of Telangana is set to launch an awareness drive from Tuesday for use of helmets and seat belts by commuters.
Officials have decided to distribute pamphlets, display banners and hoardings as well as release short films on following rules prescribed under Motor Vehicle Act 1989, and use of helmets to be precise.
Joint Transport Commissioner, Hyderabad, T Raghunath, told Express that the department was equipped to deal with the situation. “As per section 179 of MV Act, both the rider and the pillion have to wear helmets. We have been directed by the High Court to first educate motorists before going for enforcement,” said the JTC.
The department plans to display hoardings and banners at all important junctions, outside colleges, bus stands etc. “We will shortly release a film of 6-minute duration which will educate vehicle users about the use of helmet, using cellphone while driving, driving without wearing seat belt and drunk driving,” he said.
However, the department is yet to hold a review meeting with the traffic department regarding enforcement of helmet rule. Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) Jitender, when contacted, said that ongoing traffic enforcement activities involving helmet rule will continue as per the Motor Vehicle Act.
“As per the directions of High Court, we will intensify enforcement of helmet rule. People feel discomfort but a rule is a rule and has to be followed,” he said. At present, violators of the helmet rule are being challaned `200.
The Transport Department recently renewed a mandate for compulsory sale of helmets with two-wheelers with an option of the amount being deducted at the time of sale itself. RTA authorities will not now renew the mandate to buy helmets till a further directive from the High Court.
The Circular 19, which is being discussed at present, was circulated more than five years ago and had made sale of helmets along with two wheelers compulsory, in a bid to enforce the rule.
Earlier in January this year, the Cyberabad Traffic Police had held a week-long exercise to educate two-wheeler riders on the importance of wearing helmets, ahead of the launch of a special drive penalising those who ignore the rule.