Will India Bury the Rule or their Dead?

I’ve written about both before…I imagine I’ll write about both again.

The News in India.

Oh newspapers of India, how angry you make me with your poor reporting and lack of opposing opinions and factual data.

Shiv Sena.

Oh Shiv Sena, how you make me shake my head. You could do so much good and instead you do something that is BAD.

Why on earth are the Shiv Sena staging a mock burial of a helmet to protest the PCB’s helmet laws?

Very good question and here is your answer: They’re staging the mock burial to protest the passing of Pune Cantonment Board’s passing of the mandatory helmet laws because they say that helmets cause spinal and neck damage.

You can read the “whole” story here. I say “whole” because really I’m just being sarcastic.

So while the Sena carry a helmet on a bier and wave banners and slogans against helmets, the Pune Mirror runs a small byline story covering it…and then leave it at that, other than to tell it’s dear readers where the protest march is…and when.

Nothing at all is posted in their little byline story about the law, why it was passed or the many lengthy studies that have been done to prove the Shiv Sena and helmet protesters WRONG.

The statistics from 2008 don’t lie…although they probably do not paint a complete picture either since so many accidents go unreported each and every day.

The number of people injured in accidents is higher than the 2008 accidents listed above because of pillion riders or in some case, multiple pillion riders (like children riding on the gas tank of Daddy’s Motorcycle or being held by Mommy in the back of the bike).

Out of these accidents, hardly 3% of them are from crash fatalities involving car occupants. 86% of fatalities are from pedestrians, bicyclists and TWO-WHEELERS.

Now, I could say something about the lack of use of seat belts in cars here. I could even go so far as to mention the lack of child safety seats of measures in those same cars. I might even mention that a collision at 20 miles an hour (32 KM for you in India) is enough force to knock something…anything out of your grasp. Including your child.

In High School we took driving lessons from a certified teacher. It was a part of our class schedule when we reached 15 ½ . On a day near the end of the lessons, the city police brought in two police officers to let us know their jobs and ours when driving. They also brought with them The Convincer. Back then The Convincer traveled at a speed comparable to about 10-15 miles per hour. Now it’s only 5.7 or so.

But to give you an idea of how you STILL can be jolted at just 5 miles per hour, or 8 KM, please watch the video below or go to this site:

The Students in that video couldn’t even keep themselves from being propelled forward in a 5 mile an hour collision. All of them tried to. I know, I tried to as well and my arms and legs flew out no matter how hard I tried to stay back and even with the safety harness to help me stay in place.

So, do you still think you can hold on to your child in the case of an accident while riding in the front seat with no seat belt for him or you? Wanna bet your life or your child’s on that?

Now imagine going faster, on a bike, with no helmet between your head and the ground.

Helmet’s don’t cause spine and neck damage. Poorly worn or fitted helmets and ACCIDENTS cause spine and neck damage.

Not wearing a helmet causes DEATH…in which case you really won’t care so much about the spine and neck damage, now will you?

If the Newspapers and Shiv Sena were really so passionate about saving lives, they’d both do better to promote the PROPER wearing of safety features…instead of the propaganda of not wearing them.

Bear and I both wear a helmet when we go out on our motorcycle. And we both strap on seat belts when riding in other people’s cars…or we don’t ride at all.

PERIOD.

And so should you.

Peace.

© 2012 Gori Rajkumari. All Rights Reserved.

For facts and other stories, please refer to the below:

Motorcycle Helmets: Common Myths and Facts

Why helmets do NOT increase spinal cord injury or motorcycle accidents

India No.1 In Road Accidents

India No.1 Highest Number of Road Deaths

India Two Wheelers: How safe are they?

“India need to initiate the process of preparing its National Road Safety Plans with improving infrastructure” Pr Rohit Baluja, President Institute of Road Traffic Education

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6 thoughts on “Will India Bury the Rule or their Dead?

  1. Simple, if you do something risky, protect yourself. This should be education. But unfortunately it has to be a law and not left to individual choice because accidents are so frequent. Yes it curbs freedom but when you are on the roads you have to follow rules !

  2. Hi, what a great web blog. I usually spend hours on the net reading blogs on various subjects. And, I really would like to praise you for writing such a fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and yes you got it. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks.

  3. Being a motorcycle owner and rider both in India and the US, my two cents here: helmets, specially helmets with visor, will protect you to a certain extent. That “certain extent” can be pretty vague. Let’s say an accident (where you actually fall off the motorcycle) at 30 mph. A chip from the road hitting you while you’re cruising on the highway. In these cases, a helmet (again, with a visor) can prevent something more serious or fatal. But if you’re a motorcyclist and you’re in an actual crash (another vehicle hitting you, or you skidding and falling off at great speed) helmets will probably not save your life.

    That said, do I wear helmet while riding: absolutely. I wear helmet with a visor, motorcycle jacket (thick leather jacket with padding), gloves, jeans and ankle-covering boots while riding!

    I follow ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time.

  4. The people who think its not necessary to wear helmets and or seatbelts should accompany the police at accident sites. Even when riding a bicycle and having an accident without a helmet, it really hurts and its not an expierence you need to make. And a bicyle is unmotorised. Plus if you are riding a motorcyle without helmets you can get eye problems caused by the draft. Anyway,if your riding a twowheeler you should be aware that you are not as protected as say a car driver but if you still insist on a helmet conspiracy,oh well, hope you have saved enough money for your funeral. Is that really worth it? But Just thinking about driving in India seriously freaks me out. I dont think I could ever drive there with people crusing about without helmets or seatbelts. It dosent even have to be an accident,just hitting the breaks real hard can send peope toppeling through the car if they are unseatbelted. Just freaks me out.

  5. oh dear! the good old helmet debate, people in Bangalore opposed the rule big them when they tried to enforce it, now it reached a point where the helmet is compulsory for the driver but not required for the pillion rider, because most people complained it was too much asking some even said it was bad for the ladies to have to remove the flowers from their hair to strap an helmet on! If you get into a bike accident you are going to get hurt regardless of being the rider or the pillion…sorry I prefer messy hair over seeing my brain splatter all over in the even of an accident, what good would a jamsine garland in my hair be then?
    It baffles me to even hear educated high income earning individual boohoo the helmet and car seat for children, I had lot of people telling me my daughter’s car seat is mean, unloving and a waste of money…au contraire, I strap her in because I love her dealry and know that it doesn’t need much speed to get hurt in a car crash, been there! And that no car crash don’t happen only to bad drivers, there is a bad driver and an innocent victim in most cases, and no it doesn’t happen only to others!

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