KARNATAKA

Anti-helmet protest goes online



Staff Correspondent

The website invites two-wheeler users to sign the online petition The website invites two-wheeler users to sign the online petition

MYSORE: The Government's decision to reintroduce the helmet rule has not gone down well with many in Mysore.

Apart from sending a memorandum to the concerned authorities citing "genuine and valid reasons" for opposing the rule, Karanji and Siddhartha Taxpayers' Association here has urged two-wheeler riders across the State to sign an online petition to carry forward their struggle against the helmet rule.

The "Campaign against imposition of helmet rule in cities of Karnataka" available at >http://www.petitiononline.com/nohelmet/ invites two-wheeler users to sign the online petition and leave their remarks on the decision to impose the helmet rule.

Many responses

The online petition drive has elicited many a response. Jyothsna Nair from Bangalore has said: "It is better to implement traffic rules rather and impose the helmet rule."

"Defer helmet rule until you have made our every road motorable - both in terms of making the roads pothole-free and cattle-free. Road accidents will decline drastically if the roads are of quality and if traffic is regulated," Vijendra Rao from Mysore said.

Venugopal, a resident of Kuvempunagar in Mysore, finds imposition of helmet rule as an intrusion into an individual's freedom.

"Educate, but don't compel. Hit at the root of the cause, not in the periphery," he said.

Coming close on the heels of the recent hike in petrol prices, the State Government's recent decision to make wearing of helmets mandatory is seen as a "double blow" by two-wheeler riders.

"After refusing to cut sales tax on petrol, the State Government is heading for a confrontation with the citizens by making wearing of helmets mandatory not only for two-wheeler riders, but also for the pillion riders," Syed Tanveeruddin, convener of Karanji and Siddhartha Tax Payers' Association, said. He recalled that Janata Dal was voted to power in 1994 after the party had promised to make use of helmets optional. "Harassed citizens will definitely not vote for this Government during the next elections," he said.

Genuine reasons

The association has made a long list of "genuine and valid reasons" against the imposition of the helmet rule, and send a memorandum to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Principal Secretary (Home).

Hot tropical climate, difficulty in breathing while wearing a full-masked helmet; impairment in hearing owing to noise of vehicles coming from behind; and chances of going bald are cited as the reasons for opposing the helmet rule.