INDIA‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎07. July 2012‎ > ‎

Helmets must for pillion rider in Goa

When helmets were made compulsory for motor cycle riders in Kerala following the order from a law court, there was every kind of statistics released by authorities on the number of deaths caused each year in Indian roads due to not wearing helmets. But a few weeks later a person hailing from the Trivandrum- Kanyakumari area held a press conference and alleged that he was promised 1 crore rupees by a few helmet making companies for filing the suit and obtaining court order making it compulsory for motor cycle riders to wear helmets but that he was paid only a paltry sum of just 50000 rupees while the helmet companies are making crores out of his court order. Everyone thought that the court order would be reversed on the grounds of being alleged to have originated from impure roots but nothing happened. Today everyone knows that when helmet companies need money, people paid by them go to courts, present excellent data and obtain orders easily. When and where there are excellent opportunities for pocketing some money, people with authority will get involved immediately before helmet companies stop paying tokens of gratitude for favours received. Everyone including lawyers, government officials and media will argue that it concerns an immediate matter of people’s life or death on the roads which it is never. It is only a matter of profiting from legislation. If it is their concern for people’s safety on roads that is involved, why didn’t they interfere with a court order when roads built by government public works department contractors got dilapidated no sooner than they were built? Till a few years before, roads remained strong and sturdy for many years after they were built. Authorities ensured that roads were built conforming to government standards and specifications. Engineers stood there to oversee things. Then with the emergence of a fleet of corrupt officers who put into practice the new formula of 70% to their pockets, 20% to the contractors and 10% on the road, now no sooner the roads are built than they get dilapidated, causing 100000 times higher deaths than by non wearing of helmets. Those who argue in favour of helmets and file suits do not argue for and file suits in favour of keeping roads without potholes. Monsoon is not the reason for deterioration of roads in India. When PWD officials became incapable to travel through the dilapidated roads built by them, they approached the Kerala PWD minister for new powerful cars. Instead of ordering them to walk, the minister Comrade Mr. M. Vijayakumar purchased 70 brand new cars for them. What is the real meaning of this act? He also said quality-testing would be introduced, as if there was no quality assurance in the past! All knows that wider the roads become lesser our capacity to repair them. Add corruption to this and in the future it will take one full hour to pass a mile. There is no love of safety in helmet legislation but greed for money.

[In response to news article 'Helmets must for pillion rider' in the Times of India on 24 July 2012]