Delhi Traffic Police today started prosecuting woman pillion riders except Sikh woman who were found plying without helmets on the streets of the city. The crackdown came a day after Delhi Government issued a notification making wearing of helmets mandatory for women.
"We have started prosecuting woman riding pillion without helmet in the city. Besides, we will also run awareness program to educate general public about the new rule by giving advertisements in newspapers. I think most people are already aware of the development through media reports," said Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander.
Since a notification has been issued in this regard by the Delhi government, the rule has come into effect and prosecution has started, he said. He also said that Traffic Police does not keep a separate record of woman traffic violators.
As per the earlier provision, it was optional for the women pillion rider to wear helmet. According to transport department, it will be optional for Sikh women whether riding on pillion or driving a two-wheeler to wear helmet. The community had opposed making wearing of helmet by women pillion riders compulsory on religious ground. "Wearing helmets is now mandatory for women pillion riders in Delhi. However, Sikh women have been kept out of its ambit on religious grounds," a top transport department official had said yesterday.
Delhi Government has amended the rule 115 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993 to make the new provisions.
In 1998, the Delhi government had made wearing helmets mandatory for all pillion riders, but following objections from the people belonging to Sikh community, it had to amend the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993 in June 1999 and made it optional for women. According to transport department, in Delhi alone, a total number of 576 two wheeler riders lost their lives during 2012. The main risk factor for motorised two wheeler users is the non-use of helmets and head injuries are the major cause of death, injury and disability among them. Many of these head injuries could have been prevented or their severity reduced through the use of helmets.