No helmets key reason why 7,700 two-wheeler riders were killed in this state

  • Efforts are on to raise awareness about speed restrictions, carrying more than one pillion rider and compulsory wearing of helmets.
According to the official figures, Maharashtra saw more than 7,000 two-wheeler riders killed in 2022, mostly because they were not wearing helmets. (Hindustan Times)
According to the official figures, Maharashtra saw more than 7,000 two-wheeler riders killed in 2022, mostly because they were not wearing helmets.

Out of the nearly 15,000 road accident fatalities recorded in Maharashtra in 2022, a total of 7,700 were of two-wheeler riders with most of these deaths occurring due to head injuries from not wearing helmets, an official said. These figures were shared in a circular issued last week by the state transport commissioner. In view of this situation, the state transport department has directed its staff to launch a state-wide campaign to counsel two-wheeler users to make them understand the importance of road safety and the legal provisions related to it, an official said.

As per the official statistics revealed earlier this year, a total of 14,883 people were killed in road accidents in the state in 2022, an increase of 2,095 compared to 12,788 fatalities recorded in the pre-Covid-19 year of 2019. In the circular, the transport commissioner pointed out that 51 per cent of the fatalities in road accidents in 2022 were of two-wheeler riders (7,700), adding that most of these incidents took place due to head injuries from not wearing helmets.

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Calling the situation extremely worrisome, the circular said it was noticed that guidelines issued to achieve the World Health Organization's target to reduce road accidents by 50 per cent by 2030 were not being followed strictly. "The transport commissioner has directed all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to curb instances of under-age riding and to slap fines under the Motor Vehicles Act on those below the age of 18 who are found riding two-wheelers," an official said quoting the circular.

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"The circular also highlights that under section 199 (A) of MV Act there is provision of 25,000 fine on parents of such minors. It also prevents issuance of licences to such minors till they turn 25. RTO officials have been told to counsel parents about this aspect," he added.

Counselling must also be done to increase awareness about speed restrictions, carrying more than one pillion rider and compulsory wearing of helmets. The circular also directed RTO officials to ensure two-wheeler manufacturers are providing two helmets to riders at the time of vehicle purchase. Emphasis has been given to installation of necessary safety equipment on two-wheelers, including saree guard, foot rest, hand rest, among others, the circular added.

Maharashtra has more than four crore vehicles and their density on the state’s road network of 3.25 lakh kilometres, including around 18,000 km-long national highways, is increasing every year. According to Maharashtra's latest economic survey report published on March 8, the state had a vehicle population of 4.33 crore till January 1, 2023. In 2022, the highest surge in road crashes was in Yavatmal (454), followed by Ahmednagar (256), Pimpri-Chinchwad city (249), Pune rural (213) and Palghar district (132), the official data said. The highest rise in fatalities was in Ahmednagar (135), followed by Buldhana (96), Chandrapur (75), Yawatmal (72) and Solapur district (69), while the highest increase in the number of injuries was in Nagpur (367), followed by Pune (295), Satara (272), Solapur (252) and Raigad (242), it added.

First Published Date: 26 Jun 2023, 09:05 AM IST
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