Along with steep fines for violations, the new Motor Vehicle Bill will also come heavy on bike riders who wear helmets over their elbow. The new bill noted that though helmets are meant for safety, many riders wear it over their elbows which defeats the entire purpose.
A research revealed that around 97% of bike riders in India have helmets but don’t wear it. “Bike riders in the age group of 20 to 35 are most notorious. It has become fashionable to wear helmets over the elbow it seems. I have seen bikers wear over both their hands. But all that will be history now. As per the new law these errant bikers will have to do 100 sit-ups for each elbow covered with helmet,” said a Govt official.
Sources say the earlier punishment was for 100 lashes, but that was deemed too extreme and was later changed to sit-up. The Ministry is also looking at punishment for bikers who drive their bikes on footpaths.
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar welcomes the move and said that he has always been vocal about road safety and urged people to wear helmet. “My earlier campaign was about wearing helmet. Now I think I will have to campaign against those not wearing it to cover their heads. If it is about fashion, then I would urge people to buy two helmets. One for their head and one for their elbow,” he said while speaking to our reporter.
Bike riders across the country welcomed the move, though some felt that the punishment was a bit too harsh. Third year Mechanical Engineering student Hardik revealed that he spends most of his pocket money on hair styling and helmet messes it all up.
Others are planning not to comply. “Won’t wear it over my head. I have given up my gym membership too. I mean if I can get a good leg workout through sit-ups, why pay the gym,” said another college student who didn’t wish to be named.