Pune Police Commissioner Mulls Helmet Compulsion After Awareness Campaign

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Sumit Singh & Tikam Shekhawat

Pune, 8th February 2024: Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar addressed the issue of helmet compulsion for two-wheeler riders during an interaction with reporters on Wednesday evening. Emphasizing the current legal requirement for helmet use, Kumar announced the initiation of an awareness campaign before any decisions are made regarding mandatory helmet enforcement.

“It is mandatory by law for bike riders to wear helmets. However, an awareness campaign about helmets will be implemented first. A decision will be taken regarding helmet compulsion after discussions with concerned parties,” stated Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar.

The move comes in the wake of an increasing number of accidents in Pune city, with a notably higher accidental death rate among bikers without helmets. While wearing helmets is already mandated by law to prevent such fatalities, some organizations within the city have opposed helmet compulsion, citing concerns about traffic congestion and slow-moving traffic.

City District Congress Committee office-bearers met with the Police Commissioner on Tuesday to discuss the matter. They stressed the need for public awareness about helmets and appealed for a thoughtful consideration of mandatory helmet regulations.

Addressing the broader issue of traffic congestion in the city, Kumar acknowledged the daily challenges citizens face due to prolonged traffic jams. In an effort to alleviate the problem, ten to twelve major squares and roads (hotspots) have been identified for intervention. Discussions with the municipality and related agencies are underway to find effective solutions, though immediate results are not guaranteed.

In the first phase, key intersections and areas including Ganeshkhind Road, Anand Rishiji Maharaj Chowk in front of Savitribai Phule Pune University, Shivajinagar, Aundh, Baner, Pashan, Swargate area, Katraj-Kondhwa Road, Khadi Machine Chowk, Wagholi, Nagar Road, and Navale bridges have been identified for targeted efforts.

The proposed awareness campaign and ongoing discussions aim to strike a balance between enforcing safety measures and addressing the concerns of various stakeholders regarding traffic management in Pune.