Visakhapatnam

‘No helmet, no fuel’ still a long way to go

A woman filling petrol in a motorcycle though the rider does not wear a helmet at a filling station in Visakhapatnam.

A woman filling petrol in a motorcycle though the rider does not wear a helmet at a filling station in Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Enforcement of rule is job of police, say bunk owners

In view of increasing fatalities in road accidents involving two-wheelers mainly due to not wearing helmet, the Collector had passed an order asking petrol bunk owners not to give petrol if one is not wearing a helmet.

The order was taken with a pinch of salt by bunk owners and it now appears that the implementation would take some time.

In Andhra Pradesh, a total of 2,662 two-wheeler riders died in road accidents in 2016. Of the total, 477 motorists, including 18 women two-wheeler riders, died due to head injuries.

“We appreciate the intention but enforcement is the job of the police and it cannot be dumped on bunk owners. We cannot refuse a customer,” said Narayana Reddy, president of Petrol and Diesel Dealers Association.

Acquiescing with Mr. Narayana Reddy, another bunk owner Rajeev Gandhi Konda said, “We can take the responsibility of creating awareness but we cannot enforce laws. As far as enforcement is concerned we are doing it on a regular basis,” he said.

According to the district administration there are a total of 170 petrol pumps in the city and put together they sell around 10 lakh litres of diesel and over 5 lakh litres of petrol every day. The number to two-wheelers in the city has been increasing and the number has touched the 10 lakh mark.

The bunk owners are of the opinion that the crime rate might also increase if this rule is implemented. “Anybody wearing helmet can just drive down and snatch away the cash box or commit a crime. The offender cannot be identified even in the CC Tv footage. In such a case the security around the bunks should also be increased. And moreover, the police can implement some stricter rules such as the licence will be cancelled for persons caught not wearing helmet after two consecutive times,” he said.

According to a bunk owner, the bunks cannot be the implementing points. “Today, it is about helmet; tomorrow the authorities will say petrol will not be issued if the driver does not have a valid licence or insurance papers. Our business will be hit,” he added.

However Deputy Transport Commissioner, S Venkateswara Rao, said they have issued letters to all the owners of petrol pumps in Vizag region to refuse petrol if the two-wheeler riders come to the petrol pumps without wearing helmets.

The main aim of the “No helmet, no petrol” rule for two-wheeler riders is to reduce the road accidents deaths, he said.

On an average about 40 two-wheeler riders die in a month on the roads in the state for not wearing helmets, as per the latest report compiled by the Ministry’s transport research wing, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 10:14:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/no-helmet-no-fuel-still-a-long-way-to-go/article19898230.ece

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