Mumbai's Mandatory Helmet Rule, What happened to Democracy? sign now

To: The NHRC, Hon'ble Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon'ble Chief Justice of the Mumbai High Court, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Hon'ble Dy. CM of Maharashtra and Principal Secretary of Maharashtra's Home Department.

We have the following genuine and valid reasons/objections against the imposition of the helmet rule in Mumbai:
1. Hot Tropical Climate/Weather in India: Wearing of helmets results in excessive perspiration from the scalp because of the tropical climate/weather in our country.
2. With the amount of pollution around one gets a feeling of being trapped inside a chimney.
3. Difficult to breathe from the full-faced helmets: It's extremely difficult to breathe from the full-faced helmets due to the lack of partial/no ventilation.
4. Impairs hearing temporarily and leads to accidents: We can't even hear the sound of the vehicle coming from behind if we're wearing a helmet and this will lead to accidents as we're forced to turn our heads in the direction of the emanating sound.
5. Causes baldness: Helmet wearing will also result in the loss of our hair (baldness).
6. Difficult to carry while shopping and to keep/store in offices: One of our hands should be entirely kept free while shopping for provisions/groceries just to carry a helmet.
7. Medical problems related to the neck muscles: The many potholes and uneven roads make the weight of the helmet strain the muscles of the neck and cause spinal cord problems after prolonged use.
8. Impaired peripheral vision: Due to the helmet, the rider is unable to use his natural god-given peripheral vision to look a objects not directly in front but rather at the corner of the area of vision when looking straight ahead, which causes accidents when the rider cannot see an overtaking vehicle before he passes ahead.

The main/real causes of accidents are:
1. Drunken driving.
2. Road Rage: Most (of the) motorists become aggressive while driving (due to the uncomfortable feeling inside the helmet).
3. Indiscriminate laying of improperly shaped speed breakers without signboards and yellow stripes every 60 ft. without adhering to IRC's (Indian Road Congress') specifications by Civic/Govt. agencies: Most residents demand indiscriminate laying of unscientific speed breakers every 60ft. whenever an accident occurs. These speed breakers do not adhere to the IRC's specifications with respect to their number, height and width. There are no signboards indicating their presence and they're not even painted with yellow stripes which makes/renders them unidentifiable both during the day and at night. Civic/Govt. agencies, which lay down unscientific road humps without adhering to the IRC's (Indian Road Congress') recommendations must and should be made liable to pay the insurance claims to the victims of accidents.
4. Indiscriminate digging and road cutting: Indiscriminate digging and road cutting by the residents/public/citizens, water supply boards, State Electricity Boards, Telephone agencies (MTNL and private companies). Frenzied digging starts/resumes within one week of asphalting/repairing of any road in Mumbai city with a vengeance.
5. Improperly lit killer roads and presence of trenches, potholes and craters: Karnataka's roads should be properly lit at night and should be made completely/totally free from potholes, craters and trenches. In other countries, a pothole is diffused within 3 hours of reporting.
6. Rash/reckless and negligent driving: Rash/reckless and negligent driving by the two-wheeler riders and drivers of other categories of vehicles particularly by BEST bus drivers, public/private lorries, autorickshaws, minibuses and other over-sezed vehicle drivers also.
7. Driving of vehicles with high/full beams in the city limits: Driving of vehicles with high beams must/should be banned within the city limits statewide. Driving on full beam (instead of on low beam) in the city limits temporarily blinds the oncoming vehicle drivers,causing accidents.
8. Jaywalkers (persons who walk in/on the middle of the road/street): Stubborn/Arrogant jaywalkers start diagonally crossing the road suddenly even if a vehicle is speeding towards them at 30/40Kmph even if there are evenly surfaced pavements/footpaths. These thick-skinned traffic violators even pretend to be deaf to the repeated and desperate honking by the oncoming drivers. The traffic rule is always in favour of the pedestrian/jaywalker even if it's he/she who is/was at fault.
9. Unpredictable pedestrians, cyclists and autorickshaws: One never knows when a pedestrian all of sudden crosses the road without bothering to look for the oncoming traffic on the either side of the road. The cyclists and autorickshaw drivers are still worse and they are the main violators of the every traffic rule in the book. They take sudden turns without bothering to caution the motorists that they're taking a right or a U-turn.
10. Bigger vehicles make the driving of two wheelers extremely difficult: The bigger vehicles like three-wheelers/ four-wheelers/ six-wheelers try to knock down two wheeler riders. They have or show no sympathy/mercy for/towards the two wheeler riders. Many times the two wheeler riders are forced to drive on the footpaths just when they're about to be knocked down by bigger vehicles just to save themselves.
11. Taking sudden turns without indicating: Many motorists take sudden turns without bothering to either switch on their indicators or indicating manually (by hand).
12. Not honking at the intersection of roads/streets: Careful driving and honking at the intersections of roads and streets can prevent most of the accidents. Vehicles going on the bigger road/street have the first right of way as per the traffic rules. But motorists coming from the smaller roads and streets try to claim the first right of way leading to accidents.
13. Stray animals roaming on the streets and roads: Stray animals like cattle, dogs, horses, sheep/goats, etc are let loose on the streets and roads by their owners to scavenge for their hungry stomachs. They either keep standing in/on the middle of the road/street or dart/run across the road/street obstructing vehicular traffic and causing accidents.

The other ways of preventing accidents are:
Conducting rigorous practical, psychological and psychometric tests for the drivers of all categories of vehicles: Corruption should be completely/totally eliminated from the Regional Transport Offices and the Police Department. Issuing of licences can be made very strict by conducting rigorous practical, computer simulations, psychological and psychometric evaluation tests for the drivers of ALL categories of vehicles.
Re-asphalt/repair the dug up portion of the road the very same day and recover the cost: The road dug up should be re-asphalted the very same day and the cost should be recovered from the person/board/agency who/that digs/cuts the road. It's still better if the person/board/agency itself is made to re-asphalt/repair the dug up portion of the road the very same day as is some foreign countries.
Seize/Confiscate the vehicles of traffic offenders and impound their licence for about a week: Vehicles of traffic offenders should be seized and their licences impounded for about a week as in some foreign countries like Singapore.

Cautious driving and strict adherence to traffic rules: Cautious driving and strict adherence to traffic rules even WITHOUT wearing a helmet can prevent 99\% of the accidents. Drivers should be trained and licences should not be very easily issued before proper attitude testing as mentioned above.
Rider's/Driver's way of driving is more important: It's the person behind the machine and the way s/he drives is more important rather than helmet wearing. Psychological evaluation should be done to guage a persons mental state of mind before issuing a license and also during renewal.
Zebra stripes: The vehicles slow down at zebra stripes and pedestrians should cross the road only at/on the zebra stripes.
Enforce state-wide ban: A state-wide ban should be enforced against shrill horns, overspeeding, overloading, indiscriminate honking, overtaking from the left, zigzag driving, jumping the traffic lane/lights, U-turns, free right turns (without going around the circle) and cutting the yellowline. Licences of drivers of slow moving vehicles (10-15Kmph) which intentionally/deliberately occupy the central lane even if the road's leftmost lane is in extremely good condition must/should be impounded/seized/confiscated. These people derive sadistic pleasure by obstructing other vehicles from overtaking them but get away unpunished. Sometimes other motorists are forced to overtake from the left (as a last resort).
Motorists and pedestrians should start moving only when their respective signal turns green: Some motorists start driving their vehicles straight just after free left turn signal turns green. There is a wrong practice among the motorists to start moving their vehicles as soon as the signal turns orange without waiting for the signal to turn green. This results in collision with the vehicles coming from the other roads.

Taking into account all the above points, one natuarally comes to the conclusion that "Is our Government going bankrupt, that it is fining riders for something which should actually be a persons personal choice" (take for example cigarettes-WHY DONT THEY BAN/FINE that if the government really CARES for riders, are cigarette smokers making a choice by using something which will kill them painfully???) It seems to us like the government wants to fleece the poor gullible public by perhaps unfortunately conniving with the helmet lobbyists and manufacturers.

Unfortunately, how can the MLAs who commute in the latest four wheelers (cars) being provided (by the government) from the taxpayers' money understand the problems/woes of the two-wheeler riders? The MLAs were demanding the latest expensive cars of various reputed brands/companies of their individual choice that were later brought from our (Taxpayers') hard earned money. Since when has our fundamental right of choice as the citizens of a democratic country (India) been revoked?

Taking into consideration all the above points, we request you to please withdraw the helmet-complusary rule in Maharashtra's Cities with immediate effect and re-enforce our belief in democracy which we Indians proudly boast of.

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Rachael MannBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Hon'ble Chief Justice of the Mumbai High Court


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