Sunday, February 25, 2018
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A newspaper quoted officials to say that out of four lakh two-wheeler users in the city,  nearly two lakh users do not wear helmets at all. If that is so, who is responsible for it?  Our immediate reaction will be that the traffic police are responsible.

There have been several traffic drives ever since it became mandatory to wear the helmets. But obviously these drives have miserably failed because of various reasons. One of these is that the helmet-wearing habit has not been cultivated by most of our two-wheeler riders. The police will have to share the bulk of the blame no doubt because it is they who are supposed to uphold law and to ensure proper and thorough implementation of all rules and regulations  in existence.  If the police have been failing year after year in this regard, why is another failure being repeated?

But we cannot allow things to drift any further and it is high time the responsibility of enforcing the helmet law should be shared both by parents and schools. Not that parents and guardians aren’t doing so. But it has been seen that many doting parents allow their offspring to ride bikes and scooters even though they are still under-age and are not supposed to go about without having a driving license. But even if a driving license has been obtained by hook or by crook, parents should ensure that children follow certain norms of safety.
The parents, in the first instance, should not succumb to pressures from their underage sons to buy them a bike. They might have learnt to ride one on a neighbour’ or a friend’s bike. But that should not be taken as an indication that the boy can now safely ride a bike because at certain age, recklessness and mischief  are a part of the fiery  teenager’s outlook and temperament.
It should therefore be the duty of the parents to insist that their son wears a helmet. In fact when he is stirring out of the house, parents or guardians should stop him in case he isn’t wearing a helmet. Many guardians may say that sometimes they are helpless. They are very busy and the son sneaks away often without a helmet. In that case, parents/guardians should  ensure that  the vehicle is locked inside the house too. The parents/guardians should keep keys of the scooter in their safe custody.  There is every possibility that the smart lad, when out with the bike, may have a duplicate key made from lock-makers on roadsides in chowk. It would therefore be advisable to keep the garage key beyond his reach too. If the parents adopt a strict stand there is no reason why the child should not obey. 

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