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Helmet fiat for pillion-riders

The deaths of Tata Steel (Tubes Division) employee Sanjay Singh (52), who had been riding his bike with his 22-year-old daughter Karishma sitting pillion, when a car hit them near Garamnallah in Sakchi on Tuesday, jolted East Singhbhum district traffic police into action.

As both Singh and Karishma were without helmets, traffic police have decided to start random checks helmet-checking drives on city roads.

From next Monday, pillion riders will also be fined if they are not wearing helmets.

Traffic personnel will also check whether helmets are clean and undented.

Deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Rakesh Mohan Sinha said on Wednesday that the decision was taken to check frequent road mishaps on city streets.

“So far, we conducted drives to nab riders not wearing helmets. Now, both the biker and the pillion-rider must wear helmets. We will conduct random drives. If any pillion-rider is caught without helmet, he/she will be fined Rs 270 as per provisions of the 1988 Motor Vehicles Act,” Sinha told The Telegraph.

He added men wearing turbans would be exempt from wearing helmets.

“The rule is in accordance with Motor Vehicles Act and not a whimsical move by the traffic police. The number of pillion-riders dying in road mishaps is rapidly rising and this move is aimed at checking this surge,” said Sinha.

The senior officer also referred to Tuesday evening’s Garamnallah mishap.

“Had the man and his daughter worn helmets, they might have been injured, but would have lived. Unfortunately, neither was,” said Sinha.

Sinha said they had put up nearly 200 hoardings to create awareness on wearing helmets, avoiding triple-rides and drunken driving and fastening seat belts. He added they had set up rumblers and speed-breakers on various sites.

“But, people do not wear helmets. A Tata Steel employee will wear helmet within company premises, but not when he is riding on roads,” he said.

Road accidents in the city have claimed 63 lives in 2014 so far.