Arm-twisting people for their own good!

A few days back, a friend commented that India must be the only country where two-wheeler riders wear helmets not to protect themselves but to avoid being fined by the police!

That day, and on a couple of other days, I made it a point to check how many two-wheeler riders wore helmets. I was shocked to find that less than 2 out of 5 two-wheeler drivers wore helmets, while no pillion rider wore a helmet!

Unfortunately, two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders do not understand that it is in their own interest to wear helmets since they protect them from head injuries. Hence, there must be some way of ensuring that they wear helmets.

It is clear that the police in most parts of India do not strictly enforce the rule that makes it mandatory for all two-wheeler riders to wear helmets. Is there some way in which we, as private individuals, do what the police should be doing without actually ‘taking the law into our hands’?

As I had mentioned in my post Does the red light mean STOP or not?, I rode a 2-wheeler for the first few years of my sales career. Despite the fact that it was not compulsory at that time, I always wore a helmet. Later, as a manager, I always insisted that every member of my team wore a helmet while riding a 2-wheeler. I ensured compliance by announcing that I would not authorise monthly fuel reimbursement vouchers of those persons who did not use a helmet every working day. Most people complied willingly. Some persons resisted, but eventually complied.

I believe that each one of us can act similarly without much, if any difficulty.

First of all, each one of us must wear a helmet when (s)he drives a two-wheeler or rides pillion. Secondly, we must use friendly arm-twisting to make our employees, juniors and children wear helmets when they ride two-wheelers. Thirdly, we must try to make other two-wheeler riders known to us aware of the need to wear helmets.

We may think that doing this may make us unpopular with the people around us, but I know from experience that most people eventually realise that they were arm-twisted for their own good!

Related posts:
Which is worse: a badly damaged helmet or a badly damaged skull?
Law-enforcers and law-makers, or law-breakers?

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7 thoughts on “Arm-twisting people for their own good!

  1. There is a famous live precaution is better than cure..But sadly we don’t follow it always..
    It is true that helmet is very important and in case of an accident it can save a life too. .
    I do hope and wish people learn..Especially those who carry pillion riders find the driver may not want to live but they have no right to put others in danger..They shud make sure the pillion has a helmet..

    Not sure how we can help as the attitude of people is such..If we say anything their reply would be “who you”..

    I wish good sense prevails. .

  2. My husband used to wear helmet when he was riding his bike. Later on, son too. Even now he is wearing while using his two wheeler. People do not still know the importance of wearing it. Unless some fine is made compulsory, people won’t wear them. They just don’t realise that it is for their own good.

  3. Ironically, we don’t follow rules because the rules are there to protect us or because the rule is legally binding. We mostly obey the rules because if we are caught breaking the rules it hurts our pocketbook. In the US the seatbelt law for cars works mainly because it became a habit for people to wear seatbelts for fear of having to pay a fine, if caught by the police. Now almost all people follow the rule because it has become a very strong habit to put the seatbelt on before turning the engine on. I remember, when it first became a law , people resented ‘the government telling them to do one more thing’, Over the years this law has saved countless lives and reduced injuries in an accident. Yes, it is a scary sight to behold when people are riding two wheelers with no helmet on.

  4. The helmet rule is a joke. We see riders who travel with helmets hooked on to the rear view mirror of the bike- This is doubling the accident risk. Some just put on the helmet without hooking the buckle in the place for the correct fit. This includes even police personnel.

    I know of a City corporation where the same MLA/MLCs/ Municipal corporators who are the ones who passed the helmet compulsory rules lead massive “Morchas” against using helmets. to the City Commissioners office. To top this up hundreds of two wheelers majority of them carrying three persons each agitated as if this was something of a nuisance enforced upon them.
    They even crushed helmets under truck wheels to show that these are not a protection as stated.

    Our authorities do not have the will to enforce this rule.

  5. It is sad that people do not realize that helmets/safety belts are for their own good. One of our family friend lost their teenage son because he was not wearing a helmet! 😦
    Thankfully, helmets are compulsory for both the driver and the pillion rider in our city and people do wear it. What I find weird is the seat belt usage especially by the cab drivers. As soon as they are out of range of a traffic police manned area, the first thing they’d do is unbuckle the seat belt! One has to cajole them to keep it on!!

  6. In Bangladesh it was common to see a man riding his motorbike and being most careful to wear a helmet while at the same time, riding with him would be his wife, his daughter and, on the front, baby son ALL without helmets! It was as if he was saying “if we crash the only one who MUST survive is me. The rest of you matter not!”…

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