People unaware about the which rule came in September 2016
Cases of pillion riders not wearing helmets are increasing drastically in Bengaluru.
Though the wearing of helmet by pillion riders was made compulsory from September 1, 2016, people still don’t wear them, many carrying them around their elbows.
The number of cases registered for the offense were 8.97 lakh in 2016; 5.96 lakh in 2017; 12.97 lakh in 2018; 10 lakh in 2019; 19.1 lakh in 2020; and 23 lakh in 2021, traffic police data show. These cases were registered by traffic police officers or recorded on CCTV cameras.
The fine for not wearing helmet was Rs 1,000. After strict implementation of the rule from September 1, 2019, the penalty was reduced to Rs 500.
M.C. Kavitha Kariyappa, assistant commissioner of traffic police, East Division, informed The Observer: “Bengaluru’s population is growing day by day and simultaneously cases registered are also increasing. Vehicle movement in the city is more, and it is not possible to stop every vehicle and tell them (the riders) to wear helmets. We are trying our level best to educate the public on the importance of helmets…. Traffic rules education should start at a very young age.”
Rajendra Swamy, a traffic head constable, said: “Negligence by the public is the main reason for the rise in cases registered. I see no fear in the public of being fined for breaking traffic rules. We see a lot of people carrying their helmets in their hands or in the bike dicky. They wear their helmets as soon as they see traffic police and remove (them) once they pass by an officer. There is no use if people wear helmets only to escape from officers. Awareness about traffic rules should come within.”
A traffic constable who refused to be named said: “A lot of people think if they escape from traffic police they are safe, but Bengaluru is completely under CCTV surveillance. Traffic rules violations are recorded and (people) fined. Hence, cases registered are also increasing. People tend to take traffic rules for granted.”
Antony Joseph, who was fined by police for not wearing a helmet said: “My friend had come from Kerala to see me two days ago. I just had one helmet. When my friend and I went out, I wore the helmet but my friend didn’t. I was not aware that the pillion rider must compulsorily wear a helmet in Bengaluru.”
G.V. Srinivas, another rider, said: “I unexpectedly picked up my friend on my way to work. I just had one helmet and we were caught for the pillion rider not wearing a helmet. Sometimes I forget to carry an extra helmet because of work pressure or in a hurry. We don’t have any option but to pay fines.”
Prof. M.N. Sreehari, traffic advisory consultant to the Karnataka government, said wearing a helmet can help one escape head injury during accidents. “Self-discipline is the best. Not wearing a helmet is… inviting trouble. I blame the public…; there is nothing a traffic police officer can do.”
Most people who died in Nimhans from head injuries did not wear a helmet at the time of a road accident, he added. Head is the first body part affected when one falls from a bike.
According to a Times of India article dated September 30, 2021, one of four deaths in road accidents occurs because the rider did not wear a helmet. There is no separate data on deaths due to pillion riders not wearing helmets.