Visakhapatnam: Next time you go along as a pillion rider on a two-wheeler in Visakhapatnam, make sure you wear a helmet. While the Andhra Pradesh government has made it mandatory for two-wheeler riders to wear a helmet, the Road Transport Authority (RTA) officials in Visakhapatnam decided to make helmets compulsory for pillion riders, too.
The new rule will come into effect from 20 October, and those who do not follow the rules will be fined Rs. 1,000.
The Road Safety Committee in Visakhapatnam observed that a majority of victims of road crashes were two-wheeler riders. More than 70 two-wheeler riders were killed in road crashes in Vizag city between January and August 2021.
The guidelines regarding helmets were issued by the chairman of the committee and district collector to the Vizag city police and RTA personnel. The committee clearly mentioned that the pillion rider, including the bike rider, should wear helmets.
Speaking to NewsMeter, deputy transport commissioner G.C Raja Ratnam said, "The message will be circulated to all two-wheeler riders and pillion riders through various modes, including the media. RTA along with the Vizag city police will carry out special drives to implement the rule."
He added, "As per Section 129 of the MV Act 1988, the rider and the pillion rider of a two-wheeler must wear head-guard. Considering the rise in deaths of two-wheeler riders, we are trying to implement the rule."
Research by the Union ministry's Transport Research Wing on Road Accidents 2020 shows that a total of 3,714 people (two-wheelers) were killed in road accidents in Andhra Pradesh in 2020. Of the total victims, 1,729 riders and 684 pillion riders who died in the state in 2020 were not wearing helmets.