The crackdown on women pillion riders not wearing helmets has not gone down too well for Delhi Traffic Police personnel, who are often given a variety of excuses for not obeying the law.
Police officers said the excuses were often rather bizarre, ranging from “not being able to find a helmet like the one Priyanka Chopra wears in an advertisement” to “not willing to spoil their hairstyle”.
In the last five days, traffic police booked more than 15,000 women for driving or riding pillion without a helmet. But, officers said, the excuses made by women to escape getting a challan, and the argument that followed, made the exercise tiresome.
Traffic personnel have, however, listed the top five excuses that women in the capital have made, when caught on a two-wheeler without a helmet. The topmost excuse, according to traffic police, was that they “did not know about the law”. According to police, at least 40 per cent of women claimed they were not aware of the law and should be given a second chance.
“We advertised the new law for so many days before it was implemented and announced it on the radio as well. But women still claim that they were not aware of it. When we tell them to pay the challan and be careful the next time, they start nagging us,” an officer said.
Not having a suitable helmet is another excuse commonly used when women are checked for not wearing a helmet, traffic police said.
“Many claim that they are still looking for a helmet that will suit them. Are we supposed to start selling helmets now?” an officer asked.
Next in line is the excuse that women could not find a helmet of their size. According to traffic police, a lot of women claimed that most helmets were designed for men and there was not enough variety to choose from.
“They claimed that they needed a fancy helmet like the one Priyanka Chopra wears in an advertisement. They complain that they can’t find a trendy helmet and are still exploring their options. We told them that the law is not going to wait for them to make a choice,” an officer said.
Police said several women also complained about how wearing a helmet would would spoil their hairstyles and that they could not carry a helmet around.
“Women told us that they had to go for meetings and wearing a helmet would spoil their hairstyles. Some complained that they could not carry a helmet around and could not even leave it on the two-wheeler as it could get stolen,” an officer said.
Even worse is when several women refused to pay challan claiming to not carry enough cash, police said.
“They complain about not carrying enough cash, and claim that they will have to call their boyfriends or husbands to pay the challan. It becomes very difficult to handle such cases,” a police officer said.