After a lull, the helmet-rule is back to haunt two-wheeler riders. The reason for this could be varied. But the prime one is the change in the government in the state. This means a change in the thought process and even a change of heart. So the powers-that-be felt that the roads have become too dangerous a place to ride a two wheeler in top-gear without a head-gear. Some say it is a nexus between those in power and the helmet-manufacturing companies. Still others would like to think that it is one way to give the cops on the street an opportunity to make a quick buck. After all, when a couple of green notes exchange hands, the good cop can always advise the offender to wear it (the crash-helmet) the next time around without imposing the customary penalty, a practice which in any case, seems out-dated. Be that as it may, now two wheeler riders will have to shell out more as helmet are now a must-wear head-gear for the pillion rider as well.
The general feeling among two-wheeler riders is that it’s their lives which is at risk as a result of not wearing the helmet. So why should the authorities bother about it? Hence you see these riders carry helmets in every way possible except on their heads. Some carry it locked at the back of their vehicles others carry it hanging from their elbows, still others make the pillion rider carry it. The helmet is to be used when the “need” arises when one sees a RTO vehicle parked in a distance. The mandatory use of the head-gear by the pillion riders throws up a plethora of questions. I cannot help but feel sorry for the motorcycle-taxi pilots. They have now to carry two, nay, three helmets. One for their head, another to protect the head of the passenger who hires his services and a ladies helmet, just in case it is a lady passenger. Imagine having to wear a helmet that has been used by several people before you. It is like wearing another person’s clothes. Thankfully the Chief Minister has announced that the government would be supplying the motor-cycle pilots with free helmets. Obviously those associated with the helmet business could be laughing all the way to the bank (probably with some politicians in tow). There are several aspects that need to be looked into once the helmet-for-pillion-riders rule comes into existence.
A helmet will be one of the items one will have to carry along even if he or she is not riding a two-wheeler. You never know when you will have to ask for a lift. In such a situation the first question the two-wheeler rider will ask is whether you are carrying a helmet. Those working in factories will have to replace the road-helmet with the factory helmet. Probably the only time these workers will not be wearing a helmet is when they go to bed. Wearing a helmet has it’s own disadvantages. It is a pain in the neck, literally speaking.
It could make one a victim of dandruff. It makes one partially deaf to the honking of vehicles behind. But then if you do go down and crash hard on the road you will thank your stars you were wearing a crash-helmet. So don’t be grumpy. Wear it……..and live long. Long live the helmet.