HC unhappy over pillion riders continuing to flout helmet rule

One rule for all: The judges said they would like to see a marked difference in the way pillion riders travelled.

One rule for all: The judges said they would like to see a marked difference in the way pillion riders travelled.   | Photo Credit: File Photo

Directs police chief to submit report on road mishaps in city

Expressing displeasure over a majority of pillion riders in two-wheelers travelling without helmets in the city, the Madras High Court on Friday called for a report from the Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai on the number of fatal as well as non-fatal two-wheeler accidents that took place in the city in the recent years.

Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad ordered that the details must be placed before the court by June 28. The data was called for after taking note of a news report which had quoted the Transport Commissioner to have said that more than 70% of the road accidents, involving two-wheelers, had ended up being fatal. “If strict enforcement of rules and government orders (on compulsory wearing of helmets) is done, the number of fatal accidents would be reduced. Head injury may result in fatality and in some cases it may result in permanent disablement, pain, suffering and loss of earning capacity. Some may be permanently paralysed,” the judges said.

Stressing that “each life is important,” the judges said they would like to see a marked difference in the way pillion riders travel in the city. They were of the view that not just riders of two-wheelers but also those on the pillion were at equal risk of getting hurt in case of an accident and therefore both riders should mandatorily wear helmets.

The observations were made during a hearing of a public interest litigation petition filed by one K.K. Rajendran last year seeking a direction to the police to strictly enforce the law which requires two-wheeler riders to wear helmets and those who drive four-wheelers to wear seat belts in order to bring down the high rate of casualties.

The judges had so far passed a slew of interim orders in the case and had on June 12 directed the State government to issue a Government Order empowering all officers above the rank of Sub Inspectors, of Police, and not just those attached to the traffic wing, to act against traffic violations by imposing fines to compound the offences.

That direction was issued considering the hike in traffic which according to the police was a 150% increase in the number of vehicles plying in the State and the consequent increase in the number of traffic violation cases that had to be booked by the police personnel who were very limited in number in the traffic wing of the police department.

“No sooner the Government Order is issued for the implementation of traffic regulations, orientation and training of the Special Sub-Inspectors of Police should be done within one week for the use of machines, registering of case and remittance of fine amount,” the judges had ordered.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 5:27:58 PM |

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