Special Correspondent

“Government committed to making helmet compulsory”

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government told the Madras High Court on Wednesday that so far 8,848 cases had been booked by the police against two-wheelers for not wearing helmet and that a sum of Rs. 1.48 lakh was collected as penalty.

Filing a status report before a Division Bench comprising Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar, as directed by the court, U. Sankaran, Deputy Secretary, Home Department, further submitted that the Government was committed to implementing the February 22 order making helmet compulsory for two-wheeler riders in letter and spirit. Claiming that the enforcement of the helmet rule in Chennai and other five municipal corporations was “total and successful, as evidenced from public opinion and media reports,” the official said besides the penalty the Transport Commissioner detected 119 cases and referred them for prosecution.

Though the public had welcomed the Government’s proposal, it had said there should not be any harassment. “Accordingly, the Government has issued instructions to the enforcing officials that during the course of enforcing the law, it should be ensured that the public are not put to unnecessary inconveniences.”

Following representations, the Government exempted the followers of Meivazhi Sabha or Meivazhi Salai, besides women and children travelling pillion from wearing helmet. It also received suggestions to exempt persons on medical grounds, Muslims wearing caps, senior citizens and those riding below 100 CC bikes. The Bench adjourned the matter by two weeks for further proceedings.