Demand of helmets is on the rise in Manipur after the implementation of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: Since the implementation of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 from September 1 this year, there have been tons of reports of motorists being caught and heavily fined over traffic violations in the state.

Similarly in Manipur, traffic personnel are keeping a close eye on traffic violators.

Under the guidance of the state transport department, cops have initiated a rigorous drive against two-wheeler riders/motorists who travel without wearing helmets or documents. The drive also aims to spread awareness and seeks public attention on road safety measures, and to prevent incidents of avoidable fatal road accidents.

According to traffic officials, in the past 19 days, the state transport department in collaboration with the traffic police have recorded around 1,083 road offences and collected Rs 4,41,200 in and around state capital Imphal. However, minor offences were released on warning, it said.

On the other hand, with the introduction of a stringent law which enforces ‘mandatory wearing of helmet’ for two-wheeler riders, authorised helmet shopkeepers in the capital city have been seeing a sudden surge in demand from consumers.

“It’s quite unusual these days because demand of helmets have risen drastically. Moreover, we don’t normally keep that much stocks since we don’t receive many demands earlier. But the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act is good not only for our business but also for rider’s safety,” informed Sunil Adhikari, a helmet seller in Imphal.

Following the implementation of the MV (Amendment) Act and with the help of the awareness drive run by traffic personnel, people in the state, especially in Imphal, who own two-wheelers are seen rushing to nearby helmet stores for getting the must-have safety gear.

Speaking with EastMojo, transport department under secretary Mericina R Panmei said that the enforcement team of the transport department, as well as traffic police, have taken up a drive with a three-prone approach. Under the drive, the dealers of two-wheelers in the state are supposed to issue a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) helmet to the buyers.

“The transport department is making sure that they have the certified BIS helmet. So we have started writing to all the dealers of the state to submit a certification stating that they are supplying or will be supplying the BIS helmet to the buyers,” she said.

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Panmei further said that another step that we are taking up is that not to give fuel to the two-wheeler drivers who have come to fill their tanks without a helmet. So it is called ‘No helmet, no petrol’.

According to reports, ‘No helmet, no petrol’ to those two-wheeler riders were introduced in all the retailed outlet stations of IOC and BPCL in the state.

With the amendment of Motor Vehicles Act, fines of the two-wheeler riders have gone up from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000. So we are creating awareness among all that helmet is a must and this new law of fines will start from the September 25, after the grace period, Panmei added.

Under the Section 194 (D) of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, those two-wheeler riders in the state who are not complying with new rules (without helmets or documents) shall be imposed a penalty of Rs 1,000 from September 25 this year.

“This drive will help in increasing compliance of road safety instructions issued by the state government from time to time and prevent incidents of avoidable casualties and fatal injuries due to road accidents. All two-wheeler owners or drivers are given time till 24th September this year to purchase helmet as required,” said chief secretary J Suresh Babu in an official circular.

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