Bikers without helmets ride with impunity on Gaya Bridge, Dhanbad, on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Use your head, use helmets — the simple message has often failed to impress bikers in the coal capital. Dhanbad traffic police are now on a mission, with a drive starting this week to drill rules into the minds of offenders.
The awareness drive was launched in Loyabad and Barwaddah, where traffic police have focused on bike riders and already taught rules to over five hundred people.
Deputy superintendent of police (traffic) P.C. Jha said, “We have launched the drive in view of complaints about bikers riding without helmet. We have also slapped penalties on 126 offenders, 79 in Loyabad and 47 in Barwaddah.”
Reckless driving, triple riding, stunts and drunken driving are also common factors leading to bike accidents.
Jha said that 90 per cent of deaths caused by bike accidents was the result of head injuries, with a majority averse to using helmets.
“Surprisingly during the interactions, we found that 90 per cent of those who use helmets do so not for the sake of safety but to avoid police action,” said Jha, adding many a times bikers also used substandard helmets.
The number of vehicles has shot up in the city, thanks to easy availability of loans, Jha said. In 2011, 40,085 vehicles were registered.
“While the number of vehicles is increasing by the day the road space is nearly the same as 10 years ago,” said Jha.
Jha said it was difficult to deal with educated people, as they were unwilling to accept their fault in case of violation of rules.
Though the traffic police have not set a timeframe regarding the awareness campaign, they plan to launch surprise drives to keep offenders in check.
The traffic police are also planning to start a campaign to ensure auto-rickshaw drivers adhere to their dress code.