Bhubaneswar, Sept 30 (LocalWire): Throwing road safety rules to the wind, bikers of Odisha’s capital city have adapted to driving without helmets, if statistics reeled out by the government is anything to go by.
The State Transport Authority of Odisha has reported a startling 237% increase in helmetless driving in Bhubaneswar during the last two years.
The STA stated 1,38,757 violators were levied fines in 2017-18 year. The number grew by a whopping 2 37.22 % in comparison to the preceding year. In 2016-17, 58, 492 two-wheeler riders were booked for not wearing helmets.
‘The data was compiled prior to the enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 and brings to the fore the dangerous practice and violation of rules.
We are compiling the latest statistics for the current financial year including the period when the amended Act was enforced on 1 September,’ said STA officials.
Nonetheless, this form of unsafe driving has registered a sharp rise in Bhubaneswar. The transport department in joint coordination with commissionerate of police has detected 27,000 cases of violations and Rs 7 crore was realized from violators.
Of the levied Rs 7 crore fines, Rs 4,71, 22, 650 crore penalty was realized from helmetless two-wheeler riders, said STA officials.
‘Utmost risk is involved in helmetless driving on part of two wheeler riders as they expose themselves to fatal head injuries. Protection is a must while riding two wheelers. Even driving in slow speed can cause fatal injuries to unprotected head,’ said road safety campaigner, Kamal Lochan Sarangi
The chances of survival are more if two wheeler riders protect their heads with helmets, he added.
‘In my 25-year-old career as a doctor, I have come across hundreds of road accident victims in the casuality wards who are mostly two wheeler riders and have sustained injuries to their heads due to lack of protection.
Many are also brought in dead at the emergency treatment wards.
The principal factor for the fatality is due to helmetless riding,’ said senior medicine specialists at government-run Capital Hospital here.
Under the new amended law, driving without a helmet will attract a penalty of Rs 1,000 and disqualification of license for three months. Earlier the fine imposed on helmetless driving amounted to Rs 100.