Joined: 05 June 2005
The Two-Wheeler Riders opposing the imposition of the helmet rule in Karnataka's cities.
The Principal Secretary,
Second Floor, Vidhana Soudha,
Sub: Kindly/Please do not impose the helmet rule in Karnataka's Cities.
Ref: 1) Xerox copies of Syed Tanveeruddin's letters published in the English dailies of Karnataka and Mysore.
2) Forms in which several helmet opposers have voluntarily signed to oppose the helmet rule.
3) Weblinks given below.
We've the following genuine/valid reasons/objections against the imposition of the helmet rule in Karnataka:
Hot Tropical Climate/Weather in India: Wearing of helmets results in excessive perspiration from the scalp because of the tropical climate/weather in our country. With the amount of pollution around one gets a feeling of being trapped inside a chimney.
Difficult to breathe from the full-faced helmets: It's extremely difficult to breathe from the full-faced helmets due to the lack of ventilation.
Impairs hearing temporarily and leads to accidents: We can't even hear the sound of the vehicle coming from behind if we're wearing a helmet and this will lead to accidents as we're forced to turn our heads in the direction of the emanating sound.
Causes baldness: Helmet wearing will also result in the loss of our hair (baldness).
Difficult to carry while shopping and to keep/store in offices: One of our hands should be entirely kept free while shopping for provisions/groceries just to carry a helmet.
The main/real causes of accidents are:
Drunken driving: It's the main cause of the most of the accidents.
Road Rage: Most (of the) motorists become aggressive and intolerant while driving.
Indiscriminate laying of unscientific road humps without signboards and yellow stripes every 60 ft. without adhering to IRC's (Indian Road Congress') specifications by Civic/Govt. agencies: Most residents demand indiscriminate laying of unscientific road humps every 60ft. whenever an accident occurs. These road humps do not adhere to the IRC's specifications with respect to their number, height and width. There are no signboards indicating the presence of these humps and these humps are not even painted with yellow stripes which makes/renders them unidentifiable both during the day and at night. At night they're invisible to the human eye. Civic/Govt. agencies, which lay down unscientific road humps without adhering to the IRC's (Indian Road Congress's) recommendations must and should be made liable to pay the insurance claims to the victims of accidents.
Indiscriminate digging and road cutting: Indiscriminate digging and road cutting by the residents/public/citizens, water supply boards, State Electricity Boards or ESCOMS, Telephone agencies (BSNL and private companies). Frenzied digging starts/resumes within one week of asphalting/repairing of any road in Karnataka's cities with a vengeance.
Improperly lit killer roads and presence of trenches, potholes and craters: Karnataka's roads should be properly lit at night and should be made completely/totally free from potholes, craters and trenches.
Rash, reckless and negligent driving: Rash, reckless and negligent driving by the two-wheeler riders and drivers of other categories of vehicles particularly by KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) buses, BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) buses, public/private lorries, autorickshaws, overloaded maxicabs, minibuses, cars and jeeps.
Driving of vehicles with high/full beams in the city limits: Driving of vehicles with high beams must/should be banned within the city limits statewide. Driving on full beam (instead of on low beam) in the city limits temporarily blinds the oncoming vehicle drivers.
Jaywalkers (persons who walk in/on the middle of the road/street): Stubborn/Arrogant jaywalkers start diagonally crossing the road suddenly even if a vehicle is speeding towards them at 30/40Kmph even if there are evenly surfaced pavements/footpaths. These thick-skinned traffic violators even pretend to be deaf to the repeated and desperate honking by the oncoming drivers. The traffic rule is always in favour of the pedestrian/jaywalker even if it's he/she who is/was at fault.
Unpredictable pedestrians, cyclists and autorickshaws: They are the most dangerous persons who are primarily/mainly responsible for the most of the accidents. One never knows when a pedestrian all of sudden crosses the road without bothering to look for the oncoming traffic on the either side of the road. The cyclists and autorickshaw drivers are still worse and they are the main violators of the every traffic rule in the book. They take sudden turns without bothering to caution the motorists that they are taking a right or U-turn.
Bigger vehicles make the driving of two wheelers extremely difficult: The bigger vehicles like three-wheelers/four-wheelers/six-wheelers try to knock down two wheeler riders. They have or show no sympathy/mercy for/towards the two wheeler riders. Many times the two wheeler riders are forced to drive on the footpaths just when they're about to be knocked down by bigger vehicles just to save themselves.
Taking sudden turns without indicating: Many motorists take sudden turns without bothering to either switch on their indicators or indicating manually (by hand).
Not honking at the intersection of roads/streets: Careful driving and honking at the intersections of roads and streets can prevent most of the accidents. Vehicles running on the bigger road/street have the first right of way as per the traffic rules. But motorists coming from the smaller roads and streets try to claim the first right of way leading to accidents.
Stray animals roaming on the streets and roads: Stray animals like cattle, pigs, dogs, horses, sheep/goats, donkeys and fowls are let loose on the streets and roads. They either keep standing in the middle of the road/street or dart/run across the road/street obstructing vehicular traffic and causing accidents. The Hon'ble Delhi HC has in its judgement in May 2005 has said that the Delhi Municipal Corporation would be held responsible for any accident and/or injury caused to the public because of the stray cattle.
The other ways of preventing accidents are:
Make issuing of licences very strict by conducting rigorous practical, psychological and psychometric tests for all categories of vehicles and eliminating corruption in the RTOs and in the Police Department completely: Corruption should be completely/totally eliminated from Regional Transport Offices and the Police Department. Issuing of licences can be made very strict by conducting rigorous practical, psychological and psychometric tests for the potential or would be drivers of all categories of vehicles.
Re-asphalt/repair the dug up portion of the road the very same day and recover the cost: The road dug up should be re-asphalted the very same day and the cost should be recovered from the person/board/agency who/that digs/cuts the road. It's still better if the person/board/agency itself is made to re-asphalt/repair the dug up portion of the road the very same day as is some foreign countries. In some foreign countries only one half of the road is dug up in the morning and the vehicular traffic is allowed to move/ply on the other half. In the afternoon the other half if dug up only after re-asphalting the first half. In the evening the other half too is asphalted and the road is as good as new in the evening.
Seize/Confiscate the vehicles of traffic offenders and impound their licence for about a week: Vehicles of traffic offenders should be seized and their licences impounded for about a week as in some foreign countries like Singapore.
Cautious driving and strict adherence to traffic rules: Cautious driving and strict adherence to traffic rules even without a helmet can prevent ninety-nine per cent (99%) of the accidents although driving efficiency reduces by almost 60% at night.
Rider's/Driver's way of driving is more important: It's the person behind the machine and the way s/he drives it is more important rather than helmet wearing (wearing of helmets).
Zebra stripes: The vehicles should slow down at zebra stripes and pedestrians should cross the road only at/on the zebra stripes.
Enforce state-wide ban: A state-wide ban should be enforced against shrill horns, overspeeding, overloading, indiscriminate honking, overtaking from the left, zigzag driving, jumping the traffic lane/lights, U-turns, free right turns (without going around the circle) and cutting the yellowline. Licences of drivers of slow moving vehicles (10-20Kmph) which intentionally/deliberately occupy the central lane even if the road's leftmost lane is in extremely good condition must/should be impounded/seized/confiscated. These people derive sadistic pleasure by obstructing other vehicles from overtaking them but get away unpunished.
Vehicles and pedestrians should start moving only when their respective signal turns green: Some motorists start driving their vehicles straight just after the free left turn signal turns green. This results in collision with the vehicles coming from the other roads.
There is a wrong practice among the motorists to start moving their vehicles as soon as the signal turns orange without waiting for the signal to turn green. This results in collision with the vehicles coming from other roads.
Sometimes motorists are forced to overtake from the left (as a last resort) since some slow moving two wheelers and three wheelers occupy the centre of the road at 15-20 Km/h even if the leftmost lane is in extremely good condition.
The government which had made wearing of helmets compulsory in 1994 was voted out by the middle class two-wheeler owners for this reason alone and perhaps a similar fate awaits this coalition government if it imposes the helmet rule. It seems like that this government is too going bankrupt as the then government and unfortunately wants to fleece the poor gullible public by perhaps colluding/conniving with the helmet lobbyists and manufacturers. It seems like this government wants to run with the hares (helmet opposers) and hunt with the hounds (helmet lobbyists and manufacturers).
The worst part is that this government has decided to make the helmets compulsory only in the six corporations of Karnataka. This shows the bias of the government against the urbanites (people living in cities). It's like robbing Peter (urbanites) to pay Paul (non-urbanites).
Unfortunately, how can the MLAs who commute in the latest four wheelers (cars) being provided (by the government) from the taxpayers' money understand the problems/woes of the two-wheeler riders? The MLAs were demanding the latest expensive cars of various reputed brands/companies of their individual choice that were later brought from our (Taxpayers') hard earned money.
The author of the this petition and a few other citizens had appealed to the then Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri S.M.Krishna twice during his tenure (in two different years when the helmets were about to be made compulsory) by/via e-mail requesting him not to impose the helmet rule in Karnataka. Being the most down-to-earth, approachable/accessible and citizen friendly Chief Minister of Karnataka till date he'd (he had) obliged. We hope that the present government will also emulate him and will not impose the helmet rule in Karnataka's cities.
Weblinks to my objections that have been published in the Hindu and the Deccan Herald.
Date:25/04/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2005/04/25/stories/2005042513330300. htm
During the previous Chief Minister's tenure a 'Helmet Opposers Forum' was formed in Bangalore to prevent the imposition of the helmet rule in Karnataka. We too would be forced to join it and form such forums/associations, which is our fundamental right as the citizens of a democratic country (India).
Therefore, kindly/please do not impose the helmet rule in Karnataka's Cities.
Link for viewing the online petition that I've written and created
The last date for signing this online petition is 31-DECEMBER-2005.
Short cut link for viewing the number of signatures in this online petition
In case the government goes ahead and unfortunately imposes the helmet rule we'd be forced to continue our relentless legal battle until the helmet rule is rolled back or withdrawn.
Thanking you in anticipation,
With Warm Regards,
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