Sunday, August 27, 2006

Helmets must for pillion riders

Helmets must for pillion riders
Police Chief’s Order At Odds With Minister’s Assurance
The Times of India

Bangalore: To wear or not to wear helmets, that’s the dilemma two-wheeler pillion riders have been thrown into. Within 24 hours of home minister MP Prakash declaring that the state will appeal against the Karnataka High Court order of making helmets mandatory for pillion riders, Bangalore City police commissioner N Achutha Rao has threatened action against those violating the rule.
For the record, helmets are a must for both rider and pillion rider from Sept. 1. But the government is seeking a review of the order to relax the law for pillion riders. On its part, the police commissioner’s office issued a press note on Saturday, justifying the reasons for making helmet compulsory. Following an earlier HC ruling and on recommendation from the police on the accident rate involving two-wheelers, the state issued an order on June 29 making helmets mandatory.
The order states: “Every rider and pillion, while riding a motorcycle of any type — motorcycles, scooters and mopeds irrespective of break horsepower of the vehicle within the limits of Bangalore City — shall wear protective headgear of such quality (ISI specification) as it will reduce head injuries to riders of twowheelers resulting from head impact with effect from Sept. 1.’’
Following this, the traffic policemen have been directed to act against those who violate this order. A fine of Rs 100 will be collected from the rider and pillion if found not wearing ISI-mark helmets, a police officer said.
When asked about the home minister’s assurance on exempting pillion riders from wearing helmets, the police said: “As per the order which is in force, we are duty bound to initiate action against offenders. After the state goes in appeal against the present order and if the court exempts pillion riders from wearing helmets, we will not book cases against them. Till such time, we have no choice.’’
The existing government notification makes helmets mandatory for both riders and pillion riders.
Home minister says govt will appeal to HC to relax the rule for pillion riders.
Bangalore police chief says action will be initiated against pillion riders not wearing helmets.


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