The Chief Minister of Maharashtra recently directed the Pune police to stop on-ground enforcement and use CCTV footage for implementing helmet rule in Pune instead.
Road Safety Network comprising of NGOs, CSOs, road safety experts, medical practitioners, and individuals have written to the Chief Minister expressing disappointment over his directions to the Police and urged him to give them a free hand to carry out on ground enforcement.
Pune Police has been rigorously implementing helmet rule since Jan 2019. The enforcement has brought fruitful results as the number of fatalities went down in the first six months. Several MNCs/BPOs, education institutions, hospitals, government offices in Pune have shown positive response to the helmet rule at their respective level.
In a letter, RSN members have pointed out the ineffectiveness of enforcement by CCTV and asserted that this system does not have any deterrent effect on violators. Moreover, RSN members have also brought to the CM’s notice that issuing e-Challan on the basis of CCTV footage is not supported by the Motor Vehicles Act.
Information obtained by Parisar revealed that there is no mechanism in place to ensure violators pay the fines issued by e-Challan.
Ranjit Gadgil, Program Director, Parisar said “Such direction given by Chief Minister demotivates Police force and weakens the enforcement of the helmet law and could invite contempt of the High Court.”
Mr. Rishi Bagla, President of the Aurangabad First stated that “Helmet enforcement drive has been going on well in Aurangabad. We are worried that direction given by Honorable Chief Minister to Pune Police could have ripple effects on helmet enforcement drive being carried out in other districts of Maharashtra as well”
Parisar wrote a RSN letter to CM for laxity in helmet – July 2019 to the Chief Minister about this issue, urging him to reconsider his decision which could lead to a steep fall in helmet compliance.