In what is decidedly an appreciable step towards enhancing road safety, the Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration has announced that two-wheeler riders without helmets will not be able to buy fuel at petrol pumps in Noida and Greater Noida from 1 June. A PTI report noted that the decision was announced in a meeting with fuel pump owners where Brajesh Narain Singh, District Magistrate, Gautam Buddh Nagar said the order will first be enacted in Noida and Greater Noida before being extended to include rural areas within the district.
Brajesh Narain Singh explained that the key goal of this endeavour is to first enhance road safety and that it will also inculcate input and feedback from stakeholders before being rolled out in the rural areas of Gautam Buddh Nagar. But the inability to buy fuel isn't the only way the district administration intends to deter riders who do not wear helmets; it said it will also initiate legal action, including suspension of driving license, against those who are caught riding two-wheelers without helmets. And they will be arrested in case they are found behaving badly with the staff at fuel pumps.
In a statement, the district administration noted, "When those without helmet reach filling stations, their details and vehicle numbers would be traced through CCTV footage and legal action initiated against them. Their driving license can also be cancelled. In case anyone misbehaves with the staff at the filling stations, strict action would be taken against the errant person and they could even be jailed under section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)."
While such stringent measures are welcome, let's not forget that riding without helmets is illegal under the purview of India's traffic laws. As a matter of fact, according to Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, not wearing helmet while riding a two wheeler stands to draw an imprisonment term of up to six months under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 188. In order to help ensure compliance with the order, petrol pumps in both Noida and Greater Noida have been asked to promote this directive on their premises over the next five days. Owners of the fuel stations have also been instructed to install high quality CCTV cameras on their site so that footage is available in case of any disputes.