PUNE: After the amendment of Motor Vehicle Act 2019, the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways made it compulsory to wear a helmet while riding a two-wheeler across the country, yet Punekars are still not using helmets. A survey by Parisar, an NGO working for road safety, found that 46 per cent of two-wheeler users in the city wear a helmet, compared to 66 per cent last year.
The survey was conducted on five days from 10 junctions across the city from 10 am to 11.30 am and from 3 pm to 4.30 pm. The NGO took and anaylsed 712 photographs. It found that 5,498 two-wheelers were captured on the photographs in the survey, which included 995 two-wheelers with a pillion rider. Out of these 3,003 (55 per cent) riders were wearing a helmet, while only 30 (3 per cent) pillion riders were using a helmet.
“Globally it is seen that only consistent on-road enforcement works as a deterrent and can ensure high rates of compliance. The results of this survey show that they have to start the campaign again,” said Parisar Programme Director Ranjit Gadgil.
According to the survey, in May last year, 28 per cent riders and 1.1 per cent pillion riders wearing a helmet. In December 2018, after a 6-month awareness drive by the Traffic Police, another survey showed that the compliance rate went up by just a few per cent. In January this year, the police started enforcing the helmet rule. The police themselves reported that the compliance rate shot up to 66 per cent.
Parisar said that most challans issued based on CCTV footage remain unpaid and the police have no mechanism to track the challans and ensure fine collection.
“Helmets reduce the chance of a fatality by 40 per cent and severe injury by 70% in the case of a crash,” said Sandeep Gaikwad of Parisar, who conducted the survey.