Drive to penalise helmetless two-wheeler riders stepped uphttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/drive-to-penalise-helmetless-two-wheeler-riders-stepped-up/

Drive to penalise helmetless two-wheeler riders stepped up

In the months of January and February, the traffic police penalised 50,000 motorcycle riders.

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The officers said that in the past few months, there have accidents where many two-wheeler riders and pillion riders have been killed.

In order to prevent deaths of helmetless motorcycle riders, the traffic police have intensified the drive to penalise riders, travelling without a helmet. According to traffic police officers, till February, they have penalised about 200 to 300 motorcycle riders in a day for helmetless travel under the Motorvehicle Act. But since the drive was intensified, they have booked over 2,500 bikers in a day since March.

In the months of January and February, the traffic police penalised 50,000 motorcycle riders for helmetless travel. But in March alone, the police have fined over 75,000 riders.

After studying fatal accidents among two-wheelers, the officers said they realised that maximum people travelling on two-wheelers died as they had not worn a helmet.

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Quaiser Khalid, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said that they had decided to intensify the drive after a series of two-wheeler accidents claimed lives due to the absence of helmets. Khalid said that after observing the pattern, they realised that maximum bikers wore helmets only if there was a traffic constable in front of them.

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The officers said that in the past few months, there have accidents where many two-wheeler riders and pillion riders have been killed.

For the third consecutive year, Mumbai retained its dubious distinction of having the most number of deaths in two-wheeler accidents, according to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).

Khalid said that during the study, they observed that in many cases, helmets were seen hanging from the motorcycles and only used by bikers if they spotted a policeman. “We then decided to intensify the drive against helmetless riding as it reduces deaths by 40 per cent in an accident,” said Khalid.

The traffic authorities have penalised 2,88,571 bikers for riding without helmets in 2014, as compared to 2,36,207 in 2013.

Over the past few months, the traffic police have also undertaken several campaigns to control rogue driving on city roads. One of the initiatives is a drive against bikers riding on the wrong side of the roads.

Recent two-wheeler accidents

In a recent accident involving a two-wheeler, a 35-year-old man died while another suffered severe injuries after their motorcycle was hit by a car near Aksa beach late on Sunday night. According to the police, the deceased identified as Zahid Shaikh, an employee on cruise liners had come to his Malad home on vacation. After dinner, Shaikh along with his friend Farhan went on a long motorcycle ride towards Aksa beach. Farhan was riding the bike. At 11.30 pm, when the two were going towards the beach, Sonu Salim Khan (30) was returning back to his Malwani residence from Aksa beach where he had gone with his wife and two children in his Hyundai Accent car. When Khan reached the Sai Dhaba, he overtook a car from the left side. Khan was driving at high speed and did not see the motorcycle coming from the opposite direction. Owing to the absence of a road divider, Khan crashed into the motorcycle. Due to the impact of the accident, Sheikh and Farhan fell in the bushes and received severe injuries.

A 38-year-old man, who was traveling on a motorcycle, crashed his bike in Dahisar and fell into the river last week. According to the MHB police, the man identified as Mathew Fernandes, a resident of Silver Apartments in Dahisar, was driving under the influence of alcohol. Fernandes, who was riding his motorcycle, lost control of his bike at Panchsheel Nagar due to lack ofenough light and speeding.

megha.sood@expressindia.com