Helmet hesitancy: A threat to two-wheeler riders
Voice of The Reader

Helmet hesitancy: A threat to two-wheeler riders

February 27, 2022

Sir,

Very recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that vaccine hesitancy is one of the greatest threats to global health. Similar to this, helmet hesitancy is also the greatest threat to two-wheeler riders who do not wear helmet while on ride.

Not wearing helmets resulted in 44,666 deaths of two-wheeler riders which includes 30,148 drivers and 14,518 pillions in 2019 in our country. It accounts for 29.82% of total road accident fatalities. It is said earlier that a huge number of bikers do not wear a helmet and even if they wear a lot of the helmets are of poor quality.

Bengaluru Traffic Police data indicates that 25 percent of two-wheeler riders, accounting for a total of 377 people killed in road accidents in Bengaluru during 2018-2020, were not wearing helmets.

It is reported that as many as 143 two-wheeler riders and pillion riders lost their lives in Pune city in 2020, and of these 143, only nine were wearing helmets at the time of the mishap.

According to the Traffic Police of Cyberabad (Hyderabad), among the dead, 82% were not wearing helmets. Out of 434 deaths reported in 2021 in Cyberabad, 356 motorists, inclusive of both riders and pillions, were found not wearing helmets.

Nearly 38 lakh cases consisting of 24 lakh riders and 14 lakh pillions were booked in eight months in Bengaluru alone in 2021. It indicates that safety is not high on the agenda of two-wheeler riders.

It is observed that many two-wheeler riders do not wear a helmet. They sincerely carry it along with them by securely hanging it to the handle, rear side, sideways, near the legs, or carry in their hand while riding.

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Some of those who do not wear it or have it in their vehicle do not hesitate to tamper with their vehicle registration number using tapes, plastic flowers, placing the mask, etc.

Some are going to the extent of using fake number plates (using the reg. number of some other vehicles with minor changes) to escape from the eyes of CCTV cameras. In recent such incidents, one biker was charged with Rs. 8,000 and another with Rs.46,500 as fine for the number of violations committed at different times in Mysuru city (Star of Mysore dated Feb.15 and 18).

We should listen to the WHO saying that ‘just correct helmet use could reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 42% and head injuries by 69%’!

– Dr. S.V.N. Vijayendra, Ex-Traffic Warden, Mysuru, Hyderabad, 23.2.2022

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