SNS | Siliguri | 11 July, 2016: In a bid to ensure motorcyclists wear helmets and thereby reduce fatalities in accidents involving twowheelers, the Siliguri Metropolitan Police (SMP) on Sunday issued an order to all petrol pumps within the SMP area not to refuel motorcycles, if the riders are not wearing helmets. There are 36 petrol pumps under SMP and the order has been enforced from 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“We have taken a decision for the safety of the people and to encourage the bike riders to always wear helmets,” said SMP commissioner C S Lepcha. Traffic police prosecutes riders for not wearing the helmets but to make the rule more strigent this decision was taken, said Ms Lepcha. “We have asked the petrol pumps not to refill the tanks of those riders who are without helmets and are hopeful with this initiative that the rate of road accidents will come down,” said C.S Lepcha. “We receive many complaints from the people about rash driving by motorbikers.
The initiative has been taken keeping in mind the common man so that they can walk freely on the roads,” she added. SMP has also asked the petrol pumps owners to install CCTV cameras at the pumps. The police will also conduct surprise check at the pumping stations. The president of North Bengal Petrol Dealers Association Mr Shyamal Pal Chowdhury said they would fully cooperate with the police. “A meeting was held with the police. We are ready to co-operate with them,” he said.
The deputy commissioner of police, traffic, SMP, Mr Shyam Singh said the sale of vehicles in Siliguri had increased for the past few years. “In 2005 the number of vehicles was 43,973, in 2010 the number increased to 1,26,313 and as of August 2015 the number went up to 2,74,988. The number of vehicles in the town has increased by around 30,000 apart from the floating vehicles,” Mr Singh said.
In 2012, police got fines amounting to Rs 2,4,53,476 from 35,975 vehicles, in 2015 the figure was Rs 5,43,39,900 against 83,181 vehicles. In 2014, 61,999 cases were registered while the figure was 15,170 in 2015. Siliguri traffic had imposed fines amounting to Rs 1,76,100 on 500 vehicles including 293 motorbikes in a special drive yesterday. Meanwhile, some academicians,physicians, theater personalities, social activists, right activists and lawyers of Siliguri organised an innovative protest rally, where all the protesters donned helmets, against the reckless driving in the town today.
The growing trend of reckless driving may force the people to wear helmets while using the roads for their own safety, they said. Later, they organised a mass convention on this issue.