Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had written to Najeeb Jung asking him to exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets as it would hurt their religious sentiments. Sikh women pillion riders will be exempted from wearing helmets in the capital. A notification in this regard is likely to be issued this week. The decision comes after […]
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had written to Najeeb Jung asking him to exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets as it would hurt their religious sentiments.
Sikh women pillion riders will be exempted from wearing helmets in the capital. A notification in this regard is likely to be issued this week. The decision comes after the Sikh community strongly objected to the Transport department’s move of making helmets mandatory for all women pillion riders.
The Transport department had issued a gazette notification inviting public suggestions and objections in the matter.
“We received several objections from the Sikh community over the decision. This made us decide to exempt Sikh women from the rule,’’ a Transport department official said.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had written to Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung asking him to exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets as it would hurt their religious sentiments.
While making a case for compulsory-helmet rule for all women pillion riders, the Transport department had cited the risk involved in case of accidents. “The move was prompted due to increasing number of accidents on city roads. Helmets will go a long way in saving lives,’’ a Transport official said.
However, the Delhi High Court, in January this year, had dismissed a PIL seeking directions to the government to make helmets mandatory for pillion riders. The court said the government will decide on who has to wear helmets. The government had been delaying a decision in the matter due to opposition from the Sikh community.
Necessary amendments will be made in the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules to implement the rule.
No helmets: 63 women killed in two-wheeler accidents last year
57 of them were riding pillion; exemption in law allows women to ride without helmets
Delhi_2430247b (68K)The rule that makes helmets optional for women on two-wheelers,to ?respect religious sentiments? of a few,appears to be having a drastic effect on fatalities in accidents.
According to recent figures released by the Delhi traffic police,the number of women who died as they didn?t wear helmets has gone up to 63 in 2013,against 42 in 2012. Of the 63 who died,only six women were riding the two-wheelers,the rest (57) were pillion riders.
In spite of efforts by police to raise awareness among women,the figure is on the rise. ?Of 561 fatal two-wheeler accidents reported this year,63 were women. The figure is on the rise each passing year just because women are being given the privilege to not abide by the law. This is akin to allowing people to die on roads,? Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Anil Shukla said.
Since the law has given women an option to ignore what is ?essential? for one?s safety,even the law enforcers cannot do much,as the women cannot be fined or booked for it,? a senior traffic officer said.
We can just request them and make them aware. We cannot force them to wear helmets as we do not have the power to do so. It does not count as a violation,? the officer said.
Women usually sit sideways on a two-wheeler,which makes them more vulnerable to accidents,as there is a huge possibility of tipping over and hitting the ground even before the rider. As they do not wear helmets,they are more likely to get a head injury. All women who lost their lives in accidents reported last year did so due to severe head injuries. These lives could have been saved if these women had been wearing helmets,? he said.
According to police,if it is essential for a rider to have a helmet strapped,it is equally essential for the pillion rider,irrespective of their gender.
We had requested to make wearing of helmets mandatory for everyone but the decision was not taken in our favour,keeping in mind the religious sentiment of a section. Security had nothing do with religion and the two should not be related. Awareness should be spread related to it,before this becomes a dangerous a trend,? he said.
~ Source: indianexpress.com
One of the volunteers with The Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib – started a petition on the same and had its own effect in bringing about a change in the thought process of the masses.
You may still sign the petition here – http://www.change.org/petitions/smt-nutan-guha-biswas-don-t-make-helmets-mandatory-for-sikh-women-on-pillion-riding