The ‘Helmet compulsory’ rule is Pune’s new year’s resolution for the year 2019. Viman Nagar falls under Police inspector Jitendra Koli’s jurisdiction. He says that wearing a helmet has always been compulsory, but was not followed religiously until January 1, 2019, when the police decided to monitor compliance towards the rule more strictly, thus implementing it in practice.
Ever since the implementation of the rule has been monitored more strictly, there haven’t been any fatal accidents and 1 death has been recorded, compared to January 2018, when 2 deaths were recorded in his jurisdiction. Before the rule was enforced strictly, 30-35% riders wore helmets. The figure has now increased to 55%.
Monitoring through CCTV is key to check the implementation of the rule. Koli added that they have been to half a dozen educational institutes to educate students about the importance of wearing a helmet. “Helmet must be worn-doesn’t matter if the rider is traveling for a kilometer or 10. At any given day between 11 am and 1 pm, in the Shivajinagar Police station, about 50 first and second time faulters are taught and explained the importance of wearing one.”
Koli says that it is a government rule to educate people about the rule wearing helmets.
A T Sutar , campus coordinator at the older campus of Symbiosis in Viman Nagar, attests the compliance rate has always been high. Col C V Mohan, head administrator of the same Viman Nagar campus, states that the security is trained to grant entry to the campus parking only to those who wear helmets.
Pillion riders, however, can be granted entry nevertheless. Hence, some have to park outside the campus gate. “(Those who park outside) fill a penalty when the police come.”
“Many students don’t wear the helmet through the journey. They just put in on before entering the parking and then remove it once they’ve parked” he adds. The campus has implemented the rule since 2011. “We have had a 90% compliance rate, it has increased by 3-4% since Jan 1.”
Shekhar Hari Uke is serving as the head of security in the Symbiosis Law School in Viman Nagar. He states that driving into the campus parking without a helmet was permitted before January 1. Although 40% riders wore helmets, the campus ensured that they too implement the government rule. The compliance rate grew from 70% on the first day to 99% today.
Uke advocates for helmets to be worn. “You can ensure you drive correctly; you can’t do the same for others on the road. Head injuries take time to repair.”
Aayushi Bose (Batch 2019)
Guneet K. Bedi (Batch 2019)