In India, riding a two-wheeler requires the use of an ISI-marked helmet. While many states require both rider and the pillion to wear a helmet, a few other states are lenient and allow the pillion rider to be helmet-less. However, commonly across India, women riders have been found to flout the rule and the cops often overlook it due to various reasons. In Chandigarh, the cops have started targetting the women riders for not wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler.
The Chandigarh Traffic Police has released the data for the month of September. A total of 16,163 fines have been issued to the motorists in the month of September. Out of the total fines, 2,059 challans were issued to the women riders for not wearing the helmet. It should be noted that the fines are under the amended MV Act laws, which came into effect from 1st September 2019. The cops have also said that more than 18,000 traffic violations have been reported since the new rule came into effect. The traffic police department of Chandigarh Police has collected a total of Rs 42.3 lakh in fines from the violators.
In India, it is mandatory for both men and women to wear a helmet. However, men and women with religious turbans are exempted from this rule. Earlier, Chandigarh Police tried to create awareness through various mediums about the helmet rule and how wearing a helmet can save the lives of the riders during an accident. Even though the number of challans issued to the women is more than 2,000, a total number of fines issued to the helmet-less riders is 6,746. This shows how people still flout the rules even after the fines are increased by at least ten times for not wearing a helmet.
Before the amended MV Act came into effect, the fine for not wearing a helmet was only Rs 100. However, with the new rules in place, the fine has been increased to Rs 1,000. However, it has not been deterrent to the two-wheeler riders. Apart from the helmet, the cops issued a total of 4,012 fines for violating the zebra crossing line during a stop traffic signal. Also, 2,388 motorists received a challan for parking their vehicles in the no parking areas.
Interestingly, the city traffic police of Chandigarh also issued fines to the police officials in September. A total of seven fines were issued to the police personnel who were using mobile phones while driving, not wearing helmets, violated the zebra stop line, not wearing a seatbelt and other traffic offences. In the new MV Act, government officials and police can be fined twice the amount. This has been done to ensure that the cops and officials stick to the traffic rules in any situation. The cops have also recommended cancelling a total of 195 driving licenses.
Wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler is imperative to the safety of the riders and it cannot be overlooked. Indian roads are home to one the largest number of two-wheelers in the world and most numbers of accidents turn out to be fatal when the riders are not wearing a helmet. The new rules were implemented in the hope that it will encourage the motorists to follow the rule and it has already received a lot of protests from various states.