Road safety: Puducherry requires helmets for two-wheelers, offenders must pay THIS hefty fine

Following an increase in the number of fatal road accidents on the territory of the Union in the recent past, the Puducherry Government has made helmets mandatory for both two-wheelers and pillion passengers. Transport Commissioner AS Sivakumar stated that a notice has been issued making it mandatory for two-wheelers to wear helmets. Those riding two-wheelers without wearing a helmet and those sitting on the back without wearing a helmet would be fined Rs 1,000 each for first offenses. The driver’s licenses of defaulters would also be suspended for three months, a press release said.

In addition to not wearing a helmet, those who would use cell phones while driving would also face criminal charges. It should be mentioned that until now wearing a helmet has not been compulsory in Pondicherry.

Sivakumar said road accidents are increasing in Puducherry. He said there were 3,410 accidents on the roads in the UT between 2019 and 2021. The Transport Commissioner said 445 two-wheelers were killed in the accidents and they had driven the vehicles without wearing helmets.

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He said four people on two-wheelers have died in road accidents in Puducherry in the past four days, including a boy who died of head injuries in Karaikal. All these victims turned out to be riding two-wheelers without putting on helmets.

Sivakumar said 181 people who did not wear helmets died in traffic accidents in the UT between 2021 and 2022. The government is now introducing a whole series of measures to ensure that two-wheelers are now obliged to wear a helmet. Sivakumar said those who approach the transportation department to get driver’s licenses should come with helmets for the tests.

Showrooms with two-wheelers, such as scooters and motorcycles, are required to sell good quality helmets to vehicle buyers. The official said there were also cases of young boys riding two-wheelers with their parents’ permission. He said parents who let their carers drive the vehicles without a license would face a three-year jail term in addition to a Rs 25,000 fine. The driver’s license would be confiscated for 12 months.

The Transport Commissioner asked people to wear helmets, avoid reckless driving and also refrain from drunk driving in the greater interest of their safety and that of others on the road. In the past, the government has made efforts to make helmets compulsory, but objections have been raised from various quarters, including some from political parties.

Those opposing the government helmet-wearing directive took the position that the government should make people aware of the need to wear helmets before such a rule is introduced.

When retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi was the lieutenant governor of Puducherry, she had visited several places in the UT known for the buzz of traffic and instructed motorists to wear helmets.

There was a confrontation between the then LG and political parties with Bedi who is fighting for strict enforcement of the helmet rule and those who oppose her directive. Ultimately, the government’s move was put on hold.

(With inputs from PTI)

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