Not wearing a helmet? You may soon be denied petrol in Noida
NOIDA: The transport department has asked petrol pump owners in the city not to sell fuel to people who ride bikes without helmets or do not wear seatbelts while driving cars.
Officials will hold a meeting with pump owners early next week and discuss the issue. The move follows a joint meeting of police officers of Noida and Ghaziabad last week to focus on safe driving.
“We know there will be concerns raised by petrol pump owners about implementing the order. However, we will try to address them and ask the owners to cooperate. Driving without helmets and seatbelts is a major cause for concern in cities like Noida and Ghaziabad and it is important to control it in all possible ways,” said Himesh Tiwarai, assistant regional transport officer of Gautam Budh Nagar.
He said similar steps had been taken in 2012 for the entire state but could not be implemented successfully. Tiwarai pointed out that not wearing helmets was more of a culture in the city and resistance from commuters was one of the main reasons behind the unsuccessful attempt.
Tiwarai said that this time, however, the department would try to increase enforcement and sensitise petrol pump owners. He added that steps would also be taken to ensure people use seatbelts while driving, but also pointed out that denying fuel to violators was a weak way of enforcing the order. “It is easy for anyone to put on the seatbelt before entering a petrol pump,” he said.
Riding two-wheelers without helmet is one of the top four traffic violations in Noida, according to traffic police. In 2018, there were 83,507 challans that had been issued for riding without helmet, of the total 5,70,908 violations. In 2019, 34,128 bikers have been challenged for riding without helmets.
“Not wearing helmet or seatbelt is a cultural issue in Noida and one of the largest violations. People wear helmets in Delhi. But even those wearing them remove them once they cross the border into Noida. We have tried controlling this menace by issuing maximum challans,” said Anil Kumar Jha, superintendent of police (traffic).
Petrol pump owners, on the other hand, said implementing the rules would be easier said then done. Owners pointed that riders resort to arguments and even manhandle staff at petrol pumps on being denied fuel.
“We are ready to cooperate with the authorities but it is difficult unless it becomes part of the law. People fight with us over trivial issues. It will be difficult to control them if we refuse to sell fuel to violators. All of us know that giving petrol in bottles is not allowed, but people get angry if they are denied,” said Devendra Malik, owner of a petrol pump in Sector 63, Noida.
Riders also dubbed the decision an “arbitrary step”. “Why should this be a rule? Following traffic rules and wearing helmet is important for our own safety. What if someone has just forgotten or removed the helmet just when he enters the petrol pump? This cannot be justified,” said Sameer Saxena, a resident of Sector 27, Noida.
Source : The Times of India