Wear your helmet!

Wear your helmet!

Dimapur police out to enforce law on wearing helmets; gaps remain

 

Zhovezo Resu
Dimapur | May 23

 

Dimapur is the hub of commercial activities in Nagaland. People from neighbouring states also pass through Dimapur for commercial purposes. Yet most two-wheeler riders in Dimapur violate the law on helmets, without much notice from the society or the State Government regarding the safety of people on the streets.

 

The Dimapur Traffic Police will now begin strict enforcement on the use of helmets for two-wheelers. Riding a two-wheeler without helmets is an offence and can be penalized under Sec. 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act (MV Act) 1989. Penalty of Rs100 for first offence and upto Rs 300 for subsequent offences will be imposed.

 

According to Officer-in-Charge (OC) Traffic, Dimapur, Police go time to time for checking and issue challan as a warning. However, he asks, how many people are willing to take a challan; rather, they pay a some amount and escape the scene. The most common excuse used by bikers, when caught red handed by the police, is, “It is too hot.” Some even say ‘wearing helmets make them sick.’ At times, they simply keep the helmets at home.

 

The OC also says that the police need to teach the public to wear helmets and urges, “civic sense is what we need; People should know and understand their basic safety needs. After that change will happen.”

 

When asked about three people riding on a two-wheeler, the OC notes, “as per the company, the limit is only two but I don’t know whether the public know or not but it is an offense and people should be more aware.” But he is optimistic. “There has been a rapid change. 50% of them are now wearing helmets but still 50% is remaining.”

 

According to a study done at John Hopkins Medical School, bike riders who are consistent in wearing their helmets are 22% lesser prone to being victimised with cervical spine injury and wearing a helmet prevents them from experiencing fatal injuries. Riders wearing helmets are 37% less probable to be killed in a motorcycle accident and 64% lesser chances of suffering from traumatic brain injury.

 

With the introduction of a commissionerate system in Dimapur, it is hoped that better traffic regulation will lead to significant changes in traffic congestion in Dimapur town. When asked about the new regulation for those violating the traffic rules, Shouka Kaheto ASP (PRO) Dimapur says, “Changes cannot happen all of a sudden. Public should be given a warning and then the law enforced. We can’t enforce at one go, first we have to manage the traffic.” According to him, there should be stricter enforcement of the law. He pledges, “Laws are made only in the interest and safety of the pubic, they should respect the action.”

 

The writer is a student of St. Aloysius College, Mangalore and is interning at The Morung Express.

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