‘Helmet usage up by 4% in Dec’

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 10 January 2019

According to NGO Parisar, both the surveys were done by taking photographs at 10 prominent intersections across the city, at peak and off-peak hours of the day.

PUNE: A study conducted by city-based organisation Parisar on helmet compliance has found that there was an increase of four per cent in helmet users. In May 2018, 28 per cent of those surveyed were found using helmets, while in December 2018, the percentage increased to 32 %. Similar trend was seen in pillion rider usage too, where the first survey indicated an abysmal 1.1% usage and the second survey showed 4.1% usage. 

Several attempts to enforce the law were carried out intermittently but failed to convert the citizens’ mindsets despite several High Court as well as Supreme Court’s ruling on helmet compliance. The Pune city police have been strictly enforcing the helmet rule since December 2018. As per Pune city police records, a total of 253 persons died in road accidents in the city in 2018. Out of the total fatalities, 184 were two-wheeler riders and none of them were wearing helmets. 

According to NGO Parisar, both the surveys were done by taking photographs at 10 prominent intersections across the city, at peak and off-peak hours of the day.

An analysis of the photographs for both showed the usage of helmets at 28% in the first one and 32% in the second, a shocking indicator of how callously road safety is being practised in Pune. 

The organisation attributes that small increase to that announcement which again proves that enforcement of law is a big motivator to increase usage.

Advocacy officer Sandeep Gaikwad said, “We plan to carry out our next survey in another six months to see whether and how much the enforcement affects compliance. We intend to use this study as a baseline survey for our next survey. There is no such study available at present. Hence, we decided to conduct our own. Vietnam took its road safety very seriously and a case study shows that only after enforcement, the compliance rate went up from a mere 6% to 90%.”

Programme Director Ranjit Gadgil said, “Since the enforcement has finally begun in the city, it will be important for Traffic Department to monitor compliance rate systematically and set periodic goals which would guide the department on various approaches to enforcement. Unless compliance rates are close to 100%, we may not see any significant drop in the fatalities in the city.”

When contacted, DCP (Traffic) Tejaswi Satpute said, “We haven’t done any scientific study about the percentage of helmet users and gender wise analysis of it yet. It will be of great help if NGOs help us with it.”

INCREASE IN USAGE
- Helmet usage by riders: 
May 2018 — 28%
December 2018 — 32%

- Usage by pillion riders
May 2018 —  1.1%
December 2018 —  4.1%

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