Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Coalition Govt goes slow on helmet rule

Coalition Govt goes slow on helmet rule
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: With a number of political developments taking centre-stage in the state politics, the Government seem to have lost interest in implementing the much talked about helmet rule in Karnataka.

Following High Court directions to make helmets compulsory for both rider and pillion the government issued notification a few months ago and invited public opinion.

A number of responses, both in favour and against it were received and no progress has been made after that.

“The issue is under consideration,'' Home and Transport Department Secretary Sriram Reddy told this website’s newspaper on Tuesday.

In other words, the Government has not taken any decision on it, so far. Sources said the coalition government is unlikely to go ahead with the move as it will antagonise large section of people, who are against the rule.

While, some supported the move, others either totally opposed it or wanted the Government to exempt pillion riders from wearing helmet.

“As the public opinion on the issue is divided the Government may not go ahead and take any decision on it,'' sources said.

Apparently, the helmet rule was removed during H D Deve Gowda's tenure as Chief Minister and now his party, JD (S) is a part of the coalition Government.

“As per section 129 of Motor Vehicle Act wearing of helmet is compulsory for two-wheeler rider, but during Gowda's tenure the Government exempted it”.

“Now it has to justify its re-introduction,'' sources said. While, studies conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) suggested implementation of the rule as majority of fatalities involving two-wheeler riders were due to head injuries, motorists are against it.

They want the Government to create awareness about it and not make it mandatory.

“It should not be made compulsory,'' said State Government and Government Concern's Drivers Federation, President, M N Venugopal.

However, one good thing about the entire debate is that many people have brought helmets and have even started using them.


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