Mumbai: According to a recent report published by the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) in collaboration with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), there has been a slowdown in the rate of speeding. Surprisingly, despite conducting various programmes to promote helmet use, the number of cases pertaining to helmetless riding has doubled in the first eight months as compared to the figures for last year.
In 2018, over 1,21,142 cases of riding without a helmet were recorded, while this year, the number had already doubled by August, with 2,58,626 violations. In all, 194 motorcyclists died in fatal crashes recorded last year, stated the report.
The highest number of deaths recorded among motorcyclists was when they were at fault, with 92 deaths, while 29 died after being hit by four-wheelers. The report states that two bikers died after being hit by autorickshaws, 11 by buses, 19 by heavy vehicles, 10 by tempos, 17 by trucks and 14 by unknown vehicles in hit-and-run accidents.
The report states, poor helmet use has also been deemed as the key risk factor for the deaths of motorcyclists. Validating this point, only 46 per cent of motorcycle riders were found to be properly strapped into their helmets. "Motorcyclists are at particular risk from heavy vehicles, as over 40 per cent of motorcyclist deaths were caused by heavy commercial vehicles. Some of these deaths could have been prevented through speed interventions and increased helmet use," said the official.
Underlining how the usage of helmets and seat belts is important for the safety of oneself and others, Madhukar Pandey, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said, “The number of violations recorded have risen due to the high-tech CCTV cameras installed with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) feature. Meanwhile, we hope to reduce the number of violations with effective enforcement against risk factors such as improper use of helmets, seat belts, speeding and drunk driving.
The greatest motorcycle casualties were men in the 20-29 age group. Police said, enforcement and awareness should continue to focus on this high-risk group. Some of the risk factors have been effectively managed in Mumbai through speed cameras and an aggressive drunk driving campaign, said Pandey.