NEW DELHI:Gujarat cabinet’s decision to make helmets “temporarily” optional for two-wheeler riders in municipal limits has attracted huge criticism from road safety activists. However, what has stumped many is how the state government did not consider its own data, which show that nearly 60% of the two-wheeler riders killed in 2018 were the ones who did not wear helmets.
According to the latest road accident data compiled by the transport ministry, the Gujarat government had submitted that a total of 2,546 two-wheeler riders were killed in road crashes during last year and 1,546 of them had not put helmet on their heads. Similarly, in 2017, the number of persons killed without helmet was 1,912 out of the total 2,190 two-wheeler riders killed during that year.
“Is it an infinite task? Why Gujarat government has done this? Are lives of people living there not worth it?” asked Prerna Arora Singh, who is a director in the WHO-affiliated Global Alliance of Road safety NGOs.
According to a United Nations report, at least four of every 10 motorcyclists dying in road crashes can be saved, if they wear appropriate helmet and going by this estimate, at least 15,000 two-wheeler riders in India can be saved annually by simply wearing the head safety gear. Even country’s top trauma care experts have termed helmets as the number one vaccine to prevent head injuries.
The UN Motorcycle Helmet Study claims that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a road crash than drivers of passenger cars and wearing an appropriate helmet improves their chances of survival by 42% and helps avoid 69% of injuries to riders.
TOI on Thursday had reported how in Gujarat, the numbers of fatalities involving two-wheeler riders without helmet have increased by over seven times – from 209 in 2016 to 1,546 in 2018.Source: Times Of India