VIJAYAWADA: Wearing a helmet worth Rs 1,000 could have saved the lives of as many as 2,636 people who were killed in road accidents in the year 2019. With more incidents being reported across the State, DGP Gautam Sawang urged the public to wear quality helmets whose standards are fixed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (IS4151). “Wearing branded and original helmets can save the lives of two-wheeler riders in the road mishaps. Usage of non-ISI helmets by two-wheeler riders can cause grievous injuries to them or get them killed since they are substandard,” Sawang said.
According to data released by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, a total of 7,985 people were killed in road mishaps across the State and 2,636 two-wheeler riders succumbed to injuries as they did not wear good quality helmets when they met with the accident. The report noted that Andhra Pradesh stood on the eighth spot in the number of road mishaps, reporting 21,992 in the year.
To create awareness among the traffic violators and parents about the traffic rules and amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019, the traffic police are leaving no stone unturned to reach them in all possible ways.
With the digital media available online and on social media platforms, the police appeal to commuters to wear a helmet, while riding a two-wheeler and urge four-wheel drivers to wear seatbelts through ads, short films, YouTube and Facebook.
In spite of the police and other stakeholders such as Road Transport creating awareness about road safety by conducting seminars and campaigns, especially on usage of helmets and making it mandatory, only a few riders were seen using helmets. Vijayawada traffic police said over 60 per cent of two-wheelers riders don’t wear helmets in city limits. The situation is far worse in towns and rural areas.
“In most cases, wearing a helmet could save the two-wheelers rider’s life when he or she meets with an accident. We are also imposing fines on violators but to no avail. Still, a large number of people are seen riding two-wheelers sans helmets. People must understand that wearing a helmet is for their safety and everyone must follow traffic rules. We are not sparing cops if they ride two-wheelers without wearing a helmet,” Commissioner of Police Bathini Sreenivasulu said. “We are inspecting the quality of helmets during enforcement drives,” the CP added.