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Helmet rule enforcement back in focus

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, AUG. 3. The debate over enforcement of the helmet rule is back, this time with a gory accident serving as a reminder.

Sunday's mishap on the Tank Bund, in which three young medicos lost their lives, prompted the city traffic police to draft a letter to the Government seeking that helmets be made compulsory.

The helmet story, in fact, is nothing new. Last year, the city police had announced that the rule would be implemented from March 1. The deadline was extended twice and fines levied. But, somewhere down the line, the drive lost momentum and went into oblivion, that is, till Sunday.

For two-wheeler drivers, of whom only 30 per cent use helmets, the issue is all about rushing to the nearest roadside helmet dealer and shelling out Rs. 250 to Rs. 400 for a sub-standard helmet till the rule is placed on the backburner again.

"It's irritating"

For M. Nagaraj, an HLL executive, a helmet is an irritating accessory. "I have to take it off each time my cell rings. I think it is enough that I drive carefully."

For Adibhatla Varun, a third year engineering student of MGIT, Gandipet, the responsibility rests upon the traffic cops. "I do use a helmet, but not regularly. But it is for the traffic police to strictly enforce the helmet rule. I'm for it," he says.

Vijay Kodiratnam, who has two helmets, one that is reflective of his artistic skills with fluorescent colours, says the rule could fuel sale of sub-standard helmets. "Something has to be done about that," he adds.

Traffic safety

Says Adhish Nimbalkar, a young engineer: "Yes, I go around on a bike, but rarely use my helmet. Still, I feel it is quite necessary to enforce the rule. They should conduct sessions on traffic safety, particularly for lorry drivers." The dilly-dallying has been on for 16 years, right from when the NTR Government brought the rule. Where is it headed this time?

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