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‘Helmet action by police to continue’
Sakàl times Team | Tuesday, 9 December 2014 AT 10:43 PM IST
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Sakal Times is happy to announce the start of a new series - ‘ST-GUPSHUP’ - which will see a city-based bureaucrat/senior police officer interacting with our staffers every fortnight. Our first guest is Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic), Sarang Awad.

Pune: The penal action against helmetless two-wheeler riders, started as a campaign by Pune traffic police from November 1, will continue unabated, informed Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) Sarang Awad.

During an hour-long interaction with Sakal Times team, on Tuesday, Awad said that the police drive against helmetless driving shall unrestricted.

“The Section 129 of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, makes it mandatory to wear a headgear while riding a two-wheeler. We are making the people realise that police has the right to penalise a helmetless two-wheeler rider, even if he or she has not violated any other traffic rule,” Awad said.

According to the DCP, traffic police has been specially instructed to penalise any two-wheeler rider not wearing helmet.

“When we started the helmet campaign last month, we were clubbing traffic offences and helmet together. Now, the campaign we started has ceased to exist. Henceforth, the traffic police will continue to take action against such violators,” he said.

So far, over one lakh commuters have been fined and over Rs 1 crore has been recovered from motorists driving two wheelers without wearing helmets.

“I am not trying to push things down the people’s throat. One must understand that it is for a cause. Our aim is to save as many lives as possible and want people to abide by the law. Now, the movement has gathered steam, thanks to like-minded media houses like Sakal Media Group, especially Sakal Times,” he said.

He also added that there were plans to make helmet compulsory for pillion riders too, once the usage of helmets by riders becomes more prominent.

Awad further said that he was in favour of implementing traffic rules in the city with an iron hand. This included jailing commuters who dare to manhandle a traffic police on duty. According to him, the city traffic police have written to educational institutions and private firms seeking their help on the helmet issue.

“We have requested them to see to it that the students of the institutes and employees of the firms wear helmets when using two-wheelers,” he added, stating that the traffic police is combining enforcement with education to reach out to all sections of the society about the imperative need to wear helmets.

He also expressed his support to the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the city. However, he had few words of caution too.

In reply to a query Awad said that although there is a crunch of manpower in his department, it is not an impediment for the traffic police to discharge its duties diligently.
According to him, there is a need to have proper road infrastructure in place for laning of roads, so as to avoid any mishaps.

“We are trying to ensure that the pedestrian signals in the city too are properly operational for the safety of the pedestrians. At some places of the city we are trying to install such signals for unhindered movement of the pedestrians,” he added.

Pune needs helmets!

"Helmets protect users from pollution, cold and rain. They also protect motorists from head injuries. The implementation of the helmet is a good initiative by the Pune Traffic Police. They should implement this policy without considering the objections raised by certain sections."  
— Mangesh Gokhale, ICAI student

"I wear a helmet solely for safety. In Pune a vast section of motorists tend to drive quite rashly and there are chances of accidents. Everyone must wear helmets as it protects the head from injury in case of an accident."
— Rushil Modi, working professional

I have been wearing a helmet since I started riding a bike, which is almost 8 years now and I think it’s the best measure of safety for any rider. I would sincerely like to request everyone to wear a helmet for your own safety and not because it’s become a compulsion now. Your head is very precious.
— Deepa Mistry, working professional

‘Accidents can happen any time, any where’

"As per the orders of Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur we have made helmets mandatory for all policemen. We want the police to set an example for society by wearing helmets. Helmets are necessary for the safety of riders as accidents can happen at any time, any where - be it a policemen or a civilian. Society should realise the importance of helmets."
— RN Mohite, Senior Police Inspector Hadapsar police station
 
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