By Dr S V N Vijayendra
Mysuru: Though people are aware that helmet-less ride is risky in terms of damage to the head during road accidents, many are still reluctant to wear it while on the ride. A head-on collision between two bikes killed two people in the city, who were not wearing the helmets, and seriously injured the pillion of a bike. This incident has happened within the city but not on the highway. Recovery from head injuries caused by road accidents is very difficult, expensive and there is no guarantee he or she will recover 100%.
Riders are keeping helmets at every possible place on the bike or body, excepting on their head. Such people are confident that no accident never happens to them and they will be safe. But those who don’t wear helmets at the time of accidents and die don’t realise the truth as they die either on the spot or on the way to the hospital or die before recovering from the head injuries (by moving to coma state).
In the past, several riders rammed their speeding vehicles against electric poles and died on the spot, as they were not wearing helmets. In spite of being brought to the notice of the public by the traffic police and concerned citizens through various awareness programmes and publicity materials, many riders are not bothered about wearing the helmets and at least five helmet-less riders are dying per hour in our country.
Ignoring the social distancing norm, riding two-wheelers with three or four people, mainly non-relatives, on the vehicles even during the lockdown period became common on city roads. Triple ride or quadruple ride is not a solution for lack of public transport or autos during the lockdown period. There is a chance of spreading the infection if any one of them is an asymptomatic person.
It is against road safety as well as COVID-19 guidelines. Many of them were not wearing face masks, indicating people are taking the guidelines of COVID-19 very lightly and are risking their lives and their families and friends, at either house or workplace. Some two-wheeler riders are sincerely wearing the masks to safeguard their health, but at the same time ignoring to wear the helmets.
Though the guidelines are clearly indicated about the prohibition of spitting on roads and public places, people moving on two-wheelers are seen spitting risking others life, especially those coming behind on two-wheelers without wearing the masks or full helmets. As MCC cannot its staff to penalise such violators at every location, these people are escaping easily without being caught. The health of self and society are important to the nation to progress.
Now, it is time to have a brainstorming session on how to make the people in the city wear the helmets and face masks without fail, as the CCTVs, presence of traffic police at circles and increased penalties could not stop this practice not only in Mysuru city but also in other parts of the country. It may probably stop only when people become ‘responsible citizens which is very unlikely under the prevailing conditions!
(The writer is a regular contributor to City Today and Traffic Warden and member, City Traffic Advisory Committee, Mysuru)