The pillion helmet rule had come into effect from 20th January, 2016 in Bangalore. At traffic signals, I noticed my co-riders discussing about the ill effects of the rule.
Some of the difficulties are,
- People who drop/pickup their spouse/kids at bus stop/school, have to carry an extra helmet. Who is going to carry that extra helmet before/after pickup/drop?
- Most of us have to buy an extra helmet lock to secure the helmets at malls and other public places.
- It is common to see more than two people (a kid) travel in a two wheeler in Bangalore. Do we then need three helmets?
The current Government came into power in Karnataka in early 2013 with the chief minister promising to fix all the roads in Bangalore. Since then it is little more than two and half a years and no visible change has happened to any of the roads. After every death because of a pothole, the Government will announce a fresh deadline to fix all the roads by an X date. So many X dates have passed, nobody cares or fixes the roads. Is the government accountable? Neither the contractor who executed the work, nor the engineer who designed it, nor the BBMP who finances the project, nor the Ministers of the Government who monitor the work have gone to jail because of their carelessness. The only positive is that some of the traffic cops will have an extra income. I hope you understand what I mean !! The only loss is to the family of the victim.
Most of you must have enjoyed watching the films Bangalore Days (Malayalam) and Chennaiyil oru Naal (Tamil). The common plot in both the movies is the death of pillion riders. Even though they are just movies, maybe there is something to learn. Think about the kid who sits on the tank in the bike. The kid is more vulnerable to accidents more than the rider.
Finally, Is the pillion helmet rule worth all the trouble? There are downsides of pillion helmet rule, but considering the safety, I will put my money on the pillion wearing the helmet. It could be anybody’s mistake but the loss is ours. Better Safe than Sorry!!