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Mrunal Manmay Dash

In a move to promote road safety, starting 16th August, the Odisha State Transport Authority is all set to launch two-week long special drive against helmetless riders on the National Highways (NH) and State Highways (SH) across the state.

As many as 1308 persons, including riders (868) and pillion riders (440) of motorised two-wheelers, were killed in road accidents in the year 2021. Most of them were not wearing helmet. A total of 1280 persons were grievously injured and 747 had minor injuries in accidents involving two wheelers.

In a press note, Sanjay Biswal, Joint Commissioner Transport, Road Safety said, "It has been observed that out of the accidents taking place on NH/SH many are related to two-wheeler riders. Due to continuous enforcement activities, people are using helmets in the urban areas but are unfortunately avoiding wearing helmets on highways where protection is much more needed."

He further said, "Even though it is mandatory, helmets are rarely worn by the pillion riders despite similar risk of accidents like the driver. If riders take care of own safety by wearing helmets, they should not risk pillion's." Biswal appealed the two-wheeler riders and pillion riders to follow the traffic rules and wear helmet for their safety.

Earlier in a crackdown on helmetless riders on NH/SH from May 15 to May 21, the enforcement officers imposed penalties on 10,661 two-wheeler riders and 2505 driving licenses were suspended.

In a special drive conducted on July 30, 1469 riders were issued challans for helmetless driving and as many as 117 vehicles were seized.

During the oncoming special drive, the triple riders and minors driving two-wheelers will also be penalised.

The special drive will continue till August 30th. According to the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019, riding without helmet attracts a penalty of Rs 1,000.

If a person riding pillion is not wearing helmet, then the driving licence of the rider will be suspended for three months and a fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed against him/her.

Helmetless driving is widespread in the state especially on NH &SH despite it being a major cause of grievous injuries and fatalities in road accidents.

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