The Odisha government has directed the transport and police authorities to suspend the driving licence of two-wheeler users found riding without helmet. In 2019, 8.5 lakh people were penalised for not wearing helmet.
“As per section 194 D of the Motor Vehicles Act, whoever drives a motorcycle or causes or allows a motorcycle to be driven in contravention of the provision of section 129 or the rules of regulation made thereunder shall be punishable with a fine of ₹ 1000 and he shall be disqualified for holding license for a period of three months,” Madhu Sudan Padhi, Commerce and Transport Secretary, wrote to the Director General of police and the Transport Commissioner.
Mr. Padhi shot off the letters after a Supreme Court committee insisted on stricter enforcement of the particular provision of the MV Act.
He asked the authorities to take steps for suspending the driving licence of the offender in case of detection of violation and closely monitor its implementation.
The transport authorities were asked to submit district-wise suspension of the licence.
In 2019, two-wheelers were involved in 4,688 out of 11,064 road accidents, in which 2,398 two-wheeler riders died of a total of 5,333 deaths. As many as 11,177 persons were injured. Incidentally, out of the 2,398, 2,156 had not worn helmet at the time of the accident.
According to the Supreme Court committee, wearing of helmet could save many lives.
The percentage share of Odisha in total road accidents falls amongst the top 12 States, at 2.5%, and the 12th highest in total road crash fatalities at 3.5%.
According to SaveLife Foundation, a non-government organization that promotes road safety, severity of road accidents was found increasing steadily since 2016.
“Two-wheelers are the largest contributors to road accident deaths in Odisha, followed by Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) such as motor cars, jeeps and taxis. They are followed by pedestrians, and trucks/lorries,” it said.
Road accidents claimed 1,549 lives in the age group of 25-35, followed by 1,314 in the age-group of 18-25,” SaveLife added.
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