Many motorists in the city are flouting helmet rules that require them to sport an ISI-marked protective headgear since it gives them complete protection in case of accidents. The Motor Vehicles Act makes it mandatory for riders to wear helmets. However, the legislation is not implemented properly by the city police.
There are motorists who are unaware of the benefits of using helmets. A protective headgear shields the skull and adopting safety practices prevents massive head injuries. This is the primary reason for the helmet rule being enforced in all states.
Dr Anil Kumar, neurosurgeon at Narayana Nethralaya said: “It is important to wear helmets that are quality tested as they are more effective in shielding the head from injuries. Sub-standard helmets are not good and it is advisable that ISI-marked helmets are used. Before the helmet rules were compulsory, we had many cases of patients hit in the head. Helmets can prove to be life saving if they are of high quality and are properly fitted.”
Motorists have various excuses for violating the rules. For some, it is a matter of affordability while the others don’t want to commit a fashion faux pas by wearing helmets that don’t seem trendy.
“I don’t like wearing the full helmet as I am a college student and it looks funny. Moreover, it irritates my skin and I am scared that I might lose hair. It is easier to wear this helmet as it helps me stay stylish and also keeps my head well aired on hot days. Besides, even if the police catch us, we pay them some money and they let us go,” said Shibl Ahmed, a student of Cathedral College.
“Unless the police ensure that the offenders are penalised, everybody will continue to flout the rules. I am wearing a helmet and I think it is enough since it does protect my head. It doesn’t matter if it completely covers my head. I have been wearing this helmet since three months. I don’t think I am violating any rules by not wearing an ISI-marked helmet as everybody can’t afford to buy one” said Roopashree GV, a consultant.
Stringent action remains to be taken by the authorities in view of violations. The traffic police seem helpless in this regard. “I can’t manage the lanes and simultaneously track down offenders. When captured on the cameras, we fine the violaters who we manage to identify. These days people are disregarding the rules. It is not just the helmet rule but they don’t follow lane discipline either. It has become very difficult since I am the only one in charge of this busy junction,” said BM Harish Kumar, a traffic constable posted at Ashoknagar
Partial helmets and helmets that are not certified by the ISI are deemed acceptable by the city police. “There is no such rule that a rider can’t wear a half size helmet. In Bangalore, people are not violating rules a lot. They are wearing helmets and following traffic regulations. However, we do take action against offenders and about 3 lakh motorists have been fined for not using helmets on the road. The only people who don’t follow the rules are people on the outskirts of Bangalore or people riding in lanes,” said additional commissioner of police.