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Helmet prices jack up as deadline nears

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Exploitation: Traders in Salem are charging exorbitant rates for helmets since the deadline for wearing helmets is nearing.
Exploitation: Traders in Salem are charging exorbitant rates for helmets since the deadline for wearing helmets is nearing.

Special Correspondent

Decision to enforce the law makes wearing helmets compulsory from New Year day

SALEM: As the deadline for wearing helmets is nearing, the prices for the same have been jacked up.

The City Police has decided to enforce the law that insists on motorbike riders to wear helmets compulsorily from January 1, 2010 and for which various awareness measures also have been undertaken.

The Commissioner of Police, Sunil Kumar Singh, had appealed to the people to adhere to the rule and enable police to enforce traffic rules since valuable lives are being lost in fatal accidents.

“In more than 45 per cent of fatal accidents on city roads in 2009, the riders had died of head injuries, which could have been averted had they worn helmets,” he said.

Hence after careful analysis, the Salem City Police, pursuing the Coimbatore model, have decided to enforce the rule. Since a few have started raising their voice against its implementation, the police have urged the people to co-operate with them.

Meanwhile, it was brought to the notice of Police Commissioner that many of the shop keepers, exploiting the sudden demand had increased the price of helmets. Even those who were selling helmets on roadsides quote the price as Rs. 200 and Rs. 300 per piece.

“An ordinary ISI marked piece is being sold at a staggering price of Rs. 500. It is very unfortunate,” a motorbike rider, who went to buy a helmet, said.

In order to mitigate the problem, the Commissioner asked Additional Commissioner A. Chandrasekaran to convene an urgent meeting with the sellers of helmets and sensitise them the importance of encouraging the customers to buy helmets.

“They should not fleece them,” said a senior police official. Sixty sellers from 36 shops who were selling helmets attended the meeting.

Police officials politely told them that they should not jack up the prices of helmets, which would be considered as “unscrupulous and bad.”

Police was trying to enforce law in the public interest and shop keepers should also come forward and co-operate.

“It is for social cause. They should understand,” the official said. Moreover only ISI-stamped helmets should be sold. Police also would initiate action against those who sell helmets on pavements and roadsides.

The traders accepted, the police claimed.

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