The Pune police have once again made its oft-repeated promise to implement the helmet norm for two-wheeler riders in the city. There were hiccups in the move earlier because of resistance from a section of people. On Monday, Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur said the helmet rule, which has not been rigorously implemented in the past, will henceforth be strictly enforced.
The compulsion to wear helmets is in force in the country as per a Supreme Court directive but was not being followed in the city due to opposition from the public.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, driving without helmet or headgear is an offence and the local traffic rule implementing body has the authority to impose fines.
Mathur said, “The rule is not new. It has been in place for long. In the past we were not implementing it rigorously. But we will now strictly implement it. In fact we have started imposing fines from Saturday on those who are not wearing helmets.”
Police have been fining riders not using helmets but only those caught violating some other traffic rule. This was mainly because of opposition from some groups to helmets. Sarang Awad, deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) said, “The number of deaths because of riders not wearing helmets calls for strict implementation of the existing rule. We will try our best to implement it across the city.”
Pune Cantonment authorities had earlier made helmets compulsory in their jurisdiction. A traffic police officer said, “I agree we do not have adequate manpower to implement the rule as manning traffic is also a priority. But we will try our best.”