Please Heed! Road Safety Warnings for Women in India!
This is not an uncommon sight in India. Men on motorcycles wearing crash helmets and women passengers at the back — with no helmets!!! There is a good reason for this…and it is in the traffic laws of India.
Under India’s laws women and children on two-wheelers are not required to wear helmets!
Though the government of India has under international pressure agreed to change this law, it is still hard for most states to enforce it. In August 2012 a senior police officer in the city of Bhopal said, “The traffic police cannot fine any woman riding a two-wheeler without helmet as they have been exempted. We have clear orders not to stop women driving without helmet.”
A public drive started to get women riders and passengers on two-wheelers to wear helmets in the cities of Bhopal and Indore in 2011 died down because someone actually challenged the goal of the drive in court!! A senior officer at the police headquarters said, “The question of making women wear helmets was challenged in the court soon after the drive was launched. The petitioner argued that the Madhya Pradesh Motor Vehicle Rules 1994 and Motor Vehicle Act 1988’s Section 129 makes it clear that mandatory helmet wearing shall not apply to any woman or a child not above the age of 12 years.”
Thus this is a common sight in India. Women passengers AND riders on 2-wheelers with NO crash helmets!! Even children when riding behind their mothers wear no helmets. And as one of the photos below shows even school girls don’t seem to be taught the need for safety helmets in school!!
SO PLEASE LISTEN UP WOMEN! A HELMET IS NOT A COSTUME FOR MEN! IT IS A SAFETY APPARATUS! IT PROTECTS YOUR HEAD FROM INJURY IN CASE OF A CRASH!
The World Health Organization reports that wearing a helmet reduces your risk of injury by 70% and chances of getting killed in case of an accident by 40%
Below is another road safety hazard women in India are subject to:
The woman in this photo is wearing a blue scarf that is flying around dangerously. This also happens when women wear saris and ride on 2-wheelers. That scarf can get stuck in a wheel or caught on something passing and can cause a terrible accident. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ALL YOUR CLOTHING ARE TIGHTLY TUCKED IN OR TIED AROUND YOUR WAIST AND ARE NOT FLAPPING AROUND. Also notice this woman’s shoes. They are open toed slippers with heels. It is a very unsafe and unstable position to drive and navigate traffic in. THIS DRIVER CAN EASILY LOSE CONTROL OF HER VEHICLE AND CAUSE A LOT OF INJURY TO HERSELF AND TO OTHER PEOPLE ON THE STREET. Please carry your fancy shoes in a bag, and for the driving keep a pair of well strapped, or laced, flat heeled, comfortable shoes.
And finally below — a picture of what we HOPE will become a common sight in India!
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