No helmet, no fuel for two-wheelers in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Tightening the existing traffic laws, the Maharashtra government on Friday said bikers in the state will not be entitled to fuel if they don’t wear a helment.

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote made the announcement in the state legislature and justified it on grounds of promoting safety on the roads.

“Supplying fuel to riders not wearing helmets is seen as encouraging riding two-wheelers without helmets,” he said in a statement.

The Mumbai police has recently announced the policy of ‘No Helmet, No Petrol’ in the city from August 1 and is optimistic of making it a success among bikers.

Alarmed by the growing incidents of road accidents involving two-wheelers – scooters and motorcycles – Mumbai police collaborated with petrol stations and their associations to refuse fuel to any bikers who don’t wear a helmet.

Two months back, police also made helmets compulsory for pillion-riders and launched an awareness drive on the issue of road safety.

Last year, 146,133 people lost their lives in 501,423-plus road accidents in the country, of which those involving two-wheelers accounted for 144,391 accidents with 36,803 deaths.

Among all Indian states, Maharashtra stood second (after Tamil Nadu) in the country with 63,805 road accidents in 2015.

Among 50 cities with a million-plus population category, Mumbai topped the national accidents chart with 23,468 accidents last year, according to a national report, “Road Accidents in India: 2015” released last month by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

After Raote’s announcement, around 4,100 petrol-diesel outlets stations in Maharashtra, including some 500 in Mumbai, are expected to implement the new rule.