ROURKELA: With the intervention of Rourkela police, the City’s fuel filling stations have stopped sale of petrol to motorcycle riders without helmets. But the objective to boost use of helmet is yet to be achieved with erring bikers resorting to evasive tactics.
In order to ensure safe driving, Rourkela administration and police had launched the ‘no helmet, no petrol’ drive in the City recently. The drive has made wearing of helmets mandatory for two-wheeler riders while buying petrol at filling stations. The Rourkela police started keeping a close watch on petrol pump outlets violating the order.
But a reality check shows that reluctant two-wheeler riders are carrying helmets only for the purpose of wearing them to buy petrol. Others were seen filling their fuel tanks to full level with the idea of not visiting any petrol pump outlet for the next few days. Even strangers were seen voluntarily lending their helmets to other riders for buying petrol near the outlets.
A young girl was seen taking out her helmet from the under-seat of her scooter only to buy petrol. When asked, the girl said she feels uncomfortable wearing helmet in the summer.
In 2015, Rourkela police district has witnessed 424 road accidents in which 179 persons lost their lives and 181 suffered grievous injuries. Police sources claimed that rise in use of helmets can curb the casualties due to road accidents as majority of the victims are motorcycle riders.
Despite imposing penalties, the police administration is yet to achieve the target as only 25-30 per cent bikers are using helmets in the City.
In fact, the adage ‘old habits die hard’ seems to be proving true for City bikers. Previous attempts to enhance helmet use had also failed.
However, B K Sethy, an auto-parts vendor, said over the last couple of days, demand for helmets has seen a sharp rise. Rourkela SP Anirudh Singh said the enforcement would continue and helmet checking would be intensified at important junctures in the City.