The recent proposal of the Chief Minister to ensure that only those riders with helmets would get fuel seems to be a masterstroke, and is drawing positive response from the public.
“You need fuel to ride a bike and you have to wear a helmet to get fuel. It’s a very clever proposal,” says Joicy Boby, of Chalikkavattam.
“Wearing a helmet does create some inconvenience but then it can save your life in critical moments,” says Ajith Kumar, a resident of Edappally.
“The government should also ban cooling films from helmets as has been done in the case of vehicles, because most of the chain-snatchers use those kind of helmets,” he added.
Some did not foreget to mention the flip side. “Today most of the riders wear helmets, but there are drunk drivers who use it to escape police checking rather than out of safety concerns. This must be taken serious not of,” asserted Arshad Hameem of Palarivattom.
“The proposal is meant for the safety of the riders and it is highly-appreciated, but implementing is the difficult part; After all, they are our customers. However, if the company makes it mandatory, we will no longer provide fuel to helmet-less riders,” said Thomas, an accountant at the KTC fuel station near Town Hall.
“How will the government ensure it? what will be the punishment for the offenders? Will they check in every fueling station? We can’t make sure that everyone is wearing a helmet, that is not our job,” said an employee of the Bharat Petroleum petrol pump near SRM Road.
Last month, the CM had said that the government does not desire to cause inconvenience to bike riders but could not allow loss of life due to violation of rules. The Chief Minister said that the government was working on a mechanism to encourage voluntary wearing of helmets.