Why are they still Riding without HELMETS and Paying FINES?
Mangaluru: One thing for sure in Mangaluru is that motorists still don’t learn by their mistakes, instead they keep on continuing on their old-habits of breaking traffic rules and regulations. And one main reason for that is that the fine imposed by the cops is kind of low, and their traffic violations are not fed into the data system. So it has been a drama or say it a joke- every time a two-wheeler rider or a four-wheeler drives violates a traffic law- he/she gets stopped by the cop- coolly the rider or driver reaches out to their pockets-grab a Rs 100 bill-then hand it over to the cop-receives a receipt- and ride or drive off-until a next traffic violation is committed by the same motorists. Looks kind of stupid and dumb?
As per traffic police records, of the 20,094 cases registered in 2017, 3,694 are related to the pillion rider not wearing a helmet, while 2,963 are of the rider not wearing a helmet in Mangaluru. The total fine collected for the two offences is Rs 6.65 lakh. Of the 4,681 cases registered in January 2018, 833 and 518 cases are of pillion riders and riders not wearing helmets respectively. The total fine collected is Rs 1.35 lakh.
While cops slap fines, yet most two-wheeler riders violate the law on helmets, without much notice from the society or the State Government regarding the safety of people on the streets. According to a Traffic Police Inspector- ” Even though we do regular checks and issue traffic violation tickets, the most common excuse used by bikers, when caught red-handed by the police, is, “It is too hot.” Some even say ‘wearing helmets make them sick.’ Others say -I forgot and left it at home. But we don’t listen to such reasons, instead fine them. Civic sense is what we need; People should know and understand their basic safety needs. After that change will happen. Laws are made only in the interest and safety of the public, they should respect the action.”
According to a study done, bike riders who are consistent in wearing their helmets are 22% lesser prone to being victimized with cervical spine injury and wearing a helmet prevents them from experiencing fatal injuries. Riders wearing helmets are 37% less probable to be killed in a motorcycle accident and 64% lesser chances of suffering from traumatic brain injury.
Other offences include using mobile phones while driving, obstructing traffic, jumping signals. Riding two-wheelers with both the rider and pillion rider not wearing helmets tops traffic offences booked by the Mangaluru City Traffic police in the last few months. The other offences that are more in number are driving without seat belts, riding two-wheelers and driving non-transport vehicles in a reckless manner, obstruction of traffic movement and use mobile phones while driving. In 2017, the city police booked 3,633 cases of not wearing seat belt, 1,057 for using mobile phones while driving, 1,569 for obstruction of traffic, 1,094 for parking on main roads, and 740 for jumping traffic signals.
Among the other cases registered in 2017 include no parking (630), defective number plates (557), riding two-wheelers recklessly (524), driving without uniforms (538), using black film/other material (397), one way/no-entry (371), driving non transport vehicle recklessly (263), parking on footpaths (251), without side mirrors (204) and triple riding (178). The total fine collected in 2017 was Rs 22.61 la
In January 2018, the city police registered 780 cases of not wearing seat belts, followed by 456 for obstruction of traffic, 306 for using mobile phones while driving, 284 for parking on main road, 222 one-way/no-entries, 157 for jumping signals, 141 no-parking, 133 for no uniform, and 105 for parking on footpaths. The total fine collected in January is Rs 5.16 lakh.
Apart from booking cases during regular vehicle checking drives, traffic police constables manning traffic movement also make note of offences. Policemen at the Traffic Automation Centre also register cases via footage of the 93 closed circuit cameras installed in different parts of the city. Police Commissioner T.R. Suresh during a phone-in programme had said that traffic enforcement will be further strengthened as the city police are installing CCTVs in 70 more locations – and that the police will also make use of CCTVs they will get under the Smart City project.