Thoughts

Is a Law Required to Wear Helmet?

Don’t people have enough common sense to wear helmets while driving two-wheelers? Is a law required to make them wear it?

I will narrate a true incident. Our class teacher in 6th Standard had some brilliant ideas. She implemented them in spite of the rigid school systems we have here.

One interesting thing she did was to replicate a parliament-like setup in our class. She put policy decisions on the class up for voting, after telling us the merits and demerits of the issue. Students vote by thumping their hands on the desk. (Imagine this in an otherwise discipline-inducing silence-loving school!) The majority decision is followed.

Also, she was particular about encouraging extra-curricular activities. I remember her encouraging kids to sing Tamil songs in spite if being an English teacher. I guess the Principal did not find an issue with all this due to her sincerity.

I went to a new school the following year, but we were in touch with a few people in the old school. One year later someone told us that she died. You know how? She was riding pillion with her husband on their bike. Her saree got struck in the speeding back wheel. She got thrown off the bike and died immediately due to head injury.

She could have saved her life had she worn a helmet.

Imagine — such an exceptional, talented, and brave teacher losing her life for what? NOTHING!

Would you want your loved ones to die like this?

Recently, the administration has made it compulsory for two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders to wear helmets in Chennai. So the number of people who wear helmets has increased from 30% earlier to 80% or more, now. (Approx, based on my observation.) But is a law required in the first place?

Irrespective of the “law”, I hope YOU wear a helmet when you drive or ride pillion. I always do.

Destination Infinity

PS: Do you know anyone who suffered injuries or died because they didn’t wear a helmet? Let know in the comments section.

27 Comments

  • SG

    Very sorry for what happened to your 6th grade teacher. May she rest in peace. I heard that in Chennai women/girls are exempted from this helmet rule. Is it true? If it is true, it is very wrong. Everyone should wear a helmet – be the driver or the back seat driver. Be male or female or otherwise.

    • Rajesh K

      If girls/women are exempted from this rule, and they don’t wear helmets because of this “privilege”, they will learn things the hard way later on.

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      Of course. This is especially true in countries like India. Law or not, wearing helmets is a must for everyone’s safety, especially pillion rider’s safety that we usually ignore.

      Destination Infinity

  • Alok Singhal

    Good that you wrote about this issue…we feel it is a ‘cool’ factor or just too restrictive and not wear it. However, as your story points out, it could lead to a disaster some day. Hope the youngsters think about it and it not be enforced just through a law.

    Good write-up with a takeaway for all!

    • Rajesh K

      Yeah, I know youngsters give silly reasons to not wear helments. But if they are convinced and realize the gravity of the situation, I think they will not hesitate to wear one.

      Destination Infinity

  • Locomente

    We all know such things happen. But all also think that it would happen ONLY for others – not to us! Thats the reason why we see people not wearing helmet…

  • Jeevan

    I wonder does anyone have suffered that much of my friend who lost her son due to road accident and it is because of the absence of helmet. Not that he don’t wear helmet and it was on that day alone he rode his bike without helmet, as he friend took his one… left an extreme void in my friend’s life. Nearly 10 years past but she’s couldn’t come out of the distress and experiencing hell all these years. He’s not just an ordinary guy, but a most affectionate son and also a successful person in carrier with strong ability, who’s a student of APJ Abdul Kalam and has been part of many inventions including the EVM (electronic voting machines).

    He died on the spot with no external wound or bleeding, but his head…
    You can learn more about him (and his mother) on his blog, which was continued by her mother – who’s my friend and we also met though blogging.

    http://vijayanagar.blogspot.in/

    We must be aware about our safety and there isn’t need to point it out. But being reckless is the matter, makes it worst. And also like Loco said, it’s the mindset that nothing will happen to us.

    • Rajesh K

      I guess this incident was sheer bad luck as the boy was used to wearing helmets regularly. Thanks for introducing this blogger to us, I read some of the posts, they were nice.

      Destination Infinity

  • Anunoy Samanta

    I don’t wear a helmet when riding inside the city [Embarrassed]
    I would love to have a law that punishes idiots using high-beam injudiciously [Disgusted]
    We need more and more laws… so much that we all get confused how to wear a helmet 😛

  • Shilpa Garg

    I so agree with you. Wearing helmets is for our own safety and nobody should be pushing/reminding us to do that. The same goes for the seat belts. My parents friend’s 20-something son died because his bike skidded and his head hit the pavement. He would have been living had he worn a helmet that day. But he also lost his life because, nobody came forward to help him. That was some 15 years ago when people were reluctant to help accident victims.
    I see some people wearing helmets or seat belts in areas where the traffic police would be there. As soon as they are out of his sight, they’d remove them. God bless them!

  • Sandhya Kumar

    I too always wondered why people are waiting for a law to be implemented for using helmet for their own good. We read so many incidents in the news paper of accidents and people dying of head injury. They grumble now because helmet rates have gone up!

    The teacher seems to be a good one. We really need teachers like them.

    My son always uses helmet, for the past many years. Yes, hair fall is there, but this has to be ignored.

    This subject is apt for the current scenario.

    • Rajesh K

      I too heard helmet prices have gone up now. Maybe because many people wanted to buy just before the deadline. But i guess they will come down eventually.

      Destination Infinity

  • Madhavi

    I agree. Law is not required.

    I will share two experiences here :

    1. My brother met with a fatal accident on his two wheeler when he was riding back from work and could only be saved due to a proper helmet. We all are happy that he was saved, though he has a major injury in his leg which was operated.

    2. A similar incident as narrated happened in my school. One fine day, just before the assembly time there was chaos near the school and every one was running around only to realize that our social teacher, Vani ma’am, a very nice lady expired riding pillion on her husband’s bike.

    If this post could help at least a couple of the readers create awareness, then job done!!

    Thanks for sharing. It took me back to some memories.

  • Avada Kedavra

    I have never seen a pillion rider wear helmet in India. It’s very rare. But even many riders doesn’t wear helmet. I used to always wonder why people never wore, even though they understand the risks involved. I myself have fallen once from my scooter and thanks to the helmet, my head was undamaged. I agree with you completely.

    • Rajesh K

      That’s another issue — pillion riders not wearing helmets. Right now the cops are flexible about this, but sooner or later people need to understand and start being careful. Better safe than sorry.

      Destination Infinity

  • Manogna

    Ya. I too know of an incident where the pillion rider, died. She was a distant relative but said to be most charming personality.
    In my engineering college which is on the Highway, we used to have regular cases of students and even lecturers dying in accidents. The accidents never stopped happening.
    Hmm..

    • Rajesh K

      Looks like your college was deliberately kept in that area so that vacant seats can be filled through donations 😛

      Destination Infinity