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Old 7th February 2017, 20:47   #16
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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Originally Posted by JLS View Post
I appreciate the vigor and rigor shown by traffic police for offenders without helmet. However I have a few issues with this:
While the thing about being soft-targets may be true in some cases, the cops have to start somewhere! We are an indisciplined society when it comes to following rules and it is very obvious on our roads. One of the best ways is to increase the fines heavily, Rs.1000 being minimum.
You cannot justify not wearing a helmet in some cases and wearing it in some cases/scenarios. Once you accept that it is for your own safety more than getting caught by a cop and being fined, you will never ride a 2 wheeler without a helmet.
You say self-inflicting - yes, if an accident occurs due to your own mistake but what if someone else were to bump into your vehicle and you had grievious injuries on account of not wearing a helmet ?

And why the comparison of risk with the example of crossing the road by foot ? Heck, a tree/branch could fall on your head or you could even get electrocuted!
That way, we would need to make wearing all safety equipment optional ? And end up with more accidents, fatal or otherwise ?

Last edited by NPV : 7th February 2017 at 20:53.
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Old 7th February 2017, 21:08   #17
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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While the thing about being soft-targets may be true in some cases, the cops have to start somewhere! We are an indisciplined society when it comes to following rules and it is very obvious on our roads.
I agree cops have to start somewhere - why not with serious offenders? Do you think cops can not notice reckless drivers, hazardous vehicles on road?
What is more dangerous on road, a helmet less two wheeler rider or a truck/tempo with iron rods protruding outside a clear risk for all vehicles behind?

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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
You cannot justify not wearing a helmet in some cases and wearing it in some cases/scenarios. Once you accept that it is for your own safety more than getting caught by a cop and being fined, you will never ride a 2 wheeler without a helmet.
That's why I feel it is more of educational issue rather than law and order issue.

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You say self-inflicting - yes, if an accident occurs due to your own mistake but what if someone else were to bump into your vehicle and you had grievious injuries on account of not wearing a helmet ?

And why the comparison of risk with the example of crossing the road by foot ?
That way, we would need to make wearing all safety equipment optional ? And end up with more accidents, fatal or otherwise ?
That's why my comparison of walking on a road - I cant control what other drivers would do to me and I have to live with residue risk .
Similarly, all bicycle riders sharing the road also have the same risk (may be more) but are not required to wear helmet - they wear the helmet only at their own discretion and others live with 'residue risk'.
So safety equipment may not be optional - should be mandatory to the extent possible, rest should be left to discretion of riders.
Another example - I believe functioning rear view mirrors is also a very critical safety equipment on road - but who cares a) whether mirror is there b) is aligned properly c) whether rider is using mirror or not?

Hope I made myself clear - though I promise to improve and will wear helmet for those milk bag runs also If I am walking then 'Ram bharose'!

Regards,
JLS
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Old 7th February 2017, 22:12   #18
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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..driving without helmet/seat belt is at best a self inflicting offence and does not affect others on road at all..
Not true. Helmets reduce the chances of serious injury/death. In case of a casualty, the other party has a lot of legal hassles to overcome. It can even lead to manslaughter charges.

Also, the other party may require to pay from their insurance for the death/injury. This leads to increasing premiums for the future. The rider's insurance company too will be liable to pay compensation.

So it is an offence with consequences for others.

Last edited by deerhunter : 7th February 2017 at 22:15.
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Old 7th February 2017, 22:35   #19
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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Originally Posted by JLS View Post
My thoughts on helmet:
I preach wearing helmet to all my family members and friends - few of my near ones have adopted helmets as a result and are regular helmet wearers.
However in my opinion - driving without helmet/seat belt is at best a self inflicting offence and does not affect others on road at all.
While I wear helmet if I have to go for a distance longer than a kilometer, I skip if I have to go across the road to quickly fetch milk bags or something. I am aware of the risk, but also the same risk will be there if I am walking across the road.
In my opinion helmet and seat belts should at best left to the individuals and police should focus their energies to more serious issues on the road.

So while I agree with requirements of compliance with law, I am appealed at less than meaningful implementation where in person is made to suffer for a less serious crime of helmet less driving, more serious crime of driving without a valid license is totally overlooked/disregarded
Couldn't agree with you more. While an offence is an offence, it'd be nice to see the cops focus on cracking down on people that are breaking laws that affect other road users as well rather than picking just the easy ones.
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Old 8th February 2017, 07:13   #20
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

Blaming the cops for the procedural delay will not be right, as the work load on a cop is tremendous. Chennai was never a city who has embraced the rule of helmet in letter and spirit. The honorable courts have to frame rules and give judgement to ensure two wheeler riders wear helmet. Barring few law enforcement authorities in Chennai, all others seem to be genuinely concerned for the road safety of its users. The cops here are more disciplined as against other cities, but does it affect road users behavior. The answer is a big NO.

As per a survey by NCB, the maximum number of deaths due to road accidents happen in the state of Tamilnadu and no surprises here. You go to any city of the state, you will see riders sans helmets, drivers sans seat belts. How many evaders or defaulters you are gonna catch and punish. The lack of road sense, driving on High Beam, do you really expect a cop to come running and requesting for lowering high beam!

I guess the time is ripe for the authorities to enact some draconian rules and give the cops free hand to nab the offenders.
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Old 8th February 2017, 08:15   #21
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

Little bit off topic for reference, I was visiting my brother in December 2015 at Gurgaon and had to go to Pragati Maidan for Dental Expo with my wife. We hitched a ride with my sister-in-law's cousin who was going in his XUV. At the 'T' point in front of Manekshaw Auditorium, his driver jumped the red light. We were stopped, the cops checked the car papers and took DL of driver, issued a challan using a hand held machine after registering the offence on his smart card license and confiscated his license. I asked them to do immediate fine and give him his DL as they had to go back to Kanpur to which they said that it's Supreme Court's order and the driver should come to traffic court the next working day to pay fine and collect it. That driver was shaken but without remorse. I told him that I'll drive to which he said no and took out another DL from his pocket!

I've narrated this incident because I personally feel that you were left with a very light punishment/fine. A permanent mark on a smart card DL can hamper many things, especially in your case driving in foreign countries. And an excuse for not wearing a helmet is an excuse to deliberately hurt yourself.

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Now the funny part: I do not have a two wheeler license and I handed over my car driving license which only has a permit for LCV. No one even bothered to check this throughout this whole process
Are you sure it is LCV license as in a Light Commercial Vehicle and not LMV, Light Motor Vehicle ? If that's the case, I doubt you can drive anything in US.

Last edited by BoneCollector : 8th February 2017 at 08:22.
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Old 8th February 2017, 09:50   #22
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Are you sure it is LCV license as in a Light Commercial Vehicle and not LMV, Light Motor Vehicle ?
you are right, it is LMV and not LCV.
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:00   #23
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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Originally Posted by Pranay J Pandya View Post
Couldn't agree with you more. While an offence is an offence, it'd be nice to see the cops focus on cracking down on people that are breaking laws that affect other road users as well rather than picking just the easy ones.
Focusing on something is still a very generic move. Often you will see cops launching a campaign against specific kinds of violations like a clampdown on signal jumping, stunts like wheelies, etc.
I do not agree that if they're doing a campaign against wrong side driving then they catch only those offenders and just let the helmet less riders get away, yes they're focusing on something but that's not the only thing they should do.

On other occasions when they are stationed at a particular place they stop all offenders be it for signal jumping, not wearing helmets/seat belts, riding on wrong side, etc. The problem is our society at large is indisciplined and the ratio of number of cops to vehicles/drivers/riders is woefully short so they can't be everywhere everytime!

And yes, at some places or some roads certain types of violations are more common than others.

If we continue to point one finger at others while not following rules ourselves and then try to justify that saying it is at my own risk, this will never end, even the guys riding or driving in wrong side may justify their actions with whatever foolhardy reasons.

Last edited by NPV : 8th February 2017 at 10:05.
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:02   #24
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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Originally Posted by diyguy View Post
I am sorry guys if I came across as being self righteous and sanctimonious. That wasn't my intention.
It's not so much about you seeming to be self-righteous/sanctimonious, its about following the law, as a citizen. While I can certainly appreciate the honesty in you admitting that you did not possess a valid two-wheeler license and also that you didn't wear a helmet while riding, the very facts that 1) you even took out the bike while being fully aware that you did not possess a valid 2-wheeler license 2) did not wear a helmet even though you were fully aware that it increases the risk of getting flagged down and searched for documents/license AND 3) did not seem even a little fazed at the combination and having to go to court for the same, would make many of the people reading it assume that you are narrating the incident as a "clean escape", which perhaps you never meant as such.

Personally we in India must strive to have better ethics, responsibility and a sense of empathy SPECIALLY on the road, it starts with adherence to law (howsoever ridiculous certain laws maybe like removal of sun-film). I'm telling this to everyone including myself, everyday.

Also, a dress-code is extremely important when it comes to visiting anyone from law-maintenance, even in U.S courts (from the real-life videos I've seen), even the most ill-dressed people in day to day situations go to see the judge in formal pants and shirts, tie and a blazer if possible. There may not be much reasoning behind it other than to show that one is willing to be disciplint and show that he/she respect the sanctity of the halls of law. The Indian arm expects only basic full-pants and a no-nonsense shirt/tee which is quite reasonable.

Also glad to see that there is some action being taken by the local law administration on such fronts that doesn't include "spot fines" and/or bribes.
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:33   #25
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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Originally Posted by BoneCollector View Post
Are you sure it is LCV license as in a Light Commercial Vehicle and not LMV, Light Motor Vehicle ? If that's the case, I doubt you can drive anything in US.
Is there even an LCV license concept in India? I thought LMV + commercial permit/badge (informal?) is what we have.
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:40   #26
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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My intention of the write up was for others to plan their day when and if they face such a situation.
Very self righteous, I learned the lesson in a very ugly manner. What I am going to write is going to be a deterrent to a lot.

It was a routine stop at the ATM 200 mts away from my home on the way back to my home, when the ATM security objected to me entering the ATM with a helmet, this helmet had a flip open and I had left it open. But finally had to give in to the security guys request, I clipped the helmet on to the side of my bike and went to the ATM, I cautiously decided not to put the helmet back on my head and exactly in front of my house gate my front when lost traction and I was slammed to the floor, everything happened in a flash that I didn't get time to react, but each event was slow enough for it to register in my head for ages. 3 days of ICU and 4 surgeries later I was left with a hillbilly face.

That day at the ICU there was a young kid whose head slammed on the handle and was battling for life for 2 days before his body could no longer take the trauma. He had no fractures on the body no major cuts, just a shattered jaw and some deep head trauma, I still remember through my sedation how fragile his mother was after his demise.

By not wearing protective gear you are tempting fate and challenging it to an extent. I am pretty sure your helmet would be under 1-1.5k, but the cover on your mobile would be 500-1k, this is the world we live in, where a mobile is more precious than your head.

Pramod

Last edited by pramodkumar : 8th February 2017 at 10:45.
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Old 8th February 2017, 12:27   #27
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

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The inspector and the head constable did not agree to me paying on the spot fine and told me to come any day 10-12 morning or 6-8 evenings to the Periamet station with a purchase receipt of a new ISI certified helmet.

I have a trip coming up to the US and I needed my license so i can rent a car there. I decided to go today to try and retrieve my license.

I think in some states of the US you can drive a 2-wheeler without a licence if you have a licence to drive a car. After all you know how to drive and you know all the rules of the road. And also, I think you can drive a two wheeler without any licence if the engine is less than 250cc. So you are all set to drive like you did in the US . [This was some years ago, so YMMV].

But, here, even if you don't know to drive, you must carry a "certificate" from some "authority" and you'll be OK. If it makes no sense, all the more reason to carry the paper.

As a responsible member of society, you were wrong in this case and I agree - always wear your helmet when riding a 2 wheeler (EVEN if the rules don't require it - it will save your head and life - even if the fall is minor, a helmet will save you from a few scratches and a knock to your head).

I too agree, that the police concentrate, not on cutting down traffic accidents and curbing offenders, but on 'collections'. "Sub chalta hai"
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Old 8th February 2017, 12:33   #28
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Default re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

The whole 'I am risking nobody's welfare but my own' argument never ceases to amaze me.

A helmet-less rider could potentially land another motorist in jail for 'causing death by negligence', his only fault being driving in the vicinity while the rider was indulging his self-inflicted daredevilry.

My second favourite LOL argument is 'I wasn't going far'. Do accidents have an effective immunity radius from home I'm unaware of?

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 8th February 2017 at 12:34.
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Old 8th February 2017, 12:47   #29
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Default Re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

I've always been proud of the way the cops check for validity of documents in Chennai, compared to the other cities I have been in. Whenever I have been flagged down on my two wheeler in Chennai, they check if I have a valid driver's license and an RC, and then there is no attempt to cook up silly requirements to make me cough up a fine. In other cities, I've noticed that cops ask for the PUC first! (Do not even ask for a license first).

Though I carry all my documents at all times, it is the intent here that should be corrected. I think the cops did the right thing in the OP's case, and this is how it should be enforced IMO. I've had a case where wearing a helmet saved my ears from getting ripped off.

There should be zero tolerance for such violations IMO. There is too much of "Chalta Hai" attitude running around.

Sigh, just another rant
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Old 8th February 2017, 13:08   #30
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Default Re: Helmet-less travel & a day at the mobile court

I'll weigh in. Just last month a biker crashed into my car and fell down. He was ok since he had a helmet on and We went our own separate ways (after some haggling with stupid locals) now had he been not wearing a helmet and would've cracked his skull or something it would have been a great hassle for me.
Secondly, let's take this a bit lightly. We all make mistakes ever so often. Why bash the OP. He's just sharing his life experience. He got lucky. So what, every dog has his day, eh? I've gotten lucky similarly I know a friend who was challaned for being over the zebra crossing in Mumbai with a photo from the camera. You could clearly see he was on the phone, but he got lucky and only had to pay the red light/ stop line fine.
Best way is make helmet seatbelt optional. But make the guys known that they lose their legal right to sue to other party in case they die. Simple.

Last edited by H_Dogg72 : 8th February 2017 at 13:11.
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