A TEAM from Pune Newsline visited the Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce (MCASC) in Shivajinagar on Tuesday to find out the views of students on helmets. The visit comes in the backdrop of recent reports of deaths of 175 bikers in the city between January and September this year, most of whom, police said, were riding without a helmet.
Inside the campus, many students were seen astride two-wheelers without a helmet. While some said they have helmets and wear them quite often, others admitted to avoiding the safety gear despite being advised by friends and family to use it.
Rutuja Pedram, a Junior College student of Arts who has a Learner’s Licence, said she often forgets to wear a helmet. “I am scared of the traffic in Pune and have witnessed several accidents. But I don’t use a helmet regularly. I tend to forget to carry it most of the times,” she said.
Another student of arts, Sai Kolhatkar, said she has been “very careful while riding” after an accident last month.
“I had an accident, but, luckily, I was wearing a helmet. It saved me from a head injury… Now, I suggest my friends to wear it too,” she added
Her friends, Anushka Hardikar and Pranita Date, however, said they avoid helmets as they are “not comfortable and block the overall vision”.
Another friend, Shachi Kashikar, said, “My parents are doctors. I have seen a few accidents on the road too…I think one should not leave without a helmet. Nobody follows traffic rules in Pune, so we have to ensure our safety.”
Sai added, “Light weight helmets are also available, at reasonable prices.”Some students said they wore helmets due to family compulsion.
Lakhan Rajput, a first-year student of Science, said, “My father told me it was compulsory to wear a helmet. Now, it has become my a habit. I don’t go anywhere without it.”
Aishwarya Dixit, a senior college student of Psychology, said, “I used to wear a helmet two-three years ago, when the traffic police had mandated it. Now, I often forget it…”
Her friend, Kavita Mandhai, said she uses a helmet only during monsoon. “People should always wear a helmet because traffic in Pune is dangerous and everyone drives rash. I plan start using mine regularly now,” she said.