Police are counselling parents of school students on the need to cover the heads of their children with helmets when they ride two-wheelers.
Throughout Monday officers stopped parents on two-wheelers — their children riding pillion — in Behala, Beleghata and along the Bypass and made them promise that next time they would make their little ones wear helmets.
Around 85 parents were counselled throughout the day.
Officers at Lalbazar overseeing road safety across Calcutta said a recent study had identified school children walking across roads or riding pillion on their parents’ bikes without helmets were most vulnerable to accidents. Hence, it was decided that cops would focus on these children. Instead of booking parents, the cops would explain to them that it was not enough to just have their heads covered — they must also make their children wear helmets.
“We realised that school kids and their parents, particularly those on two-wheelers without helmets for their children, was one of the segments that needed immediate focus,” said Santosh Pandey, deputy commissioner of police, traffic.
“The parents need to be told about the safety measures. They need to protect their children while ferrying them on two-wheelers. We have started doing thatAt least five two-wheelers were stopped at the Ruby crossing in the morning. “The fathers were wearing helmets but none of the kids was. All were counselled and then asked to take a pledge not to repeat the mistake. We handed over chocolate to each child,” another officer said.
Across Calcutta, the sight of parents riding two-wheelers with kids on the pillion without helmets is common.
Officers involved in managing traffic said efforts to rein them in had failed because often parents would refuse to stop, saying their children would be late.
Several traffic sergeants said they would often spot kids on the pillion without helmets dozing off while returning from school.
A section of parents Metro spoke to said they never knew that the children, too, needed to wear helmets. “I never knew helmets are mandatory for kids. I thought it was only for adults,” said Priyankar Das, a Kasba resident who drops his child to a school at Prantik Pally on his bike every morning. “I always wear a helmet. My wife does, too, whenever she rides a bikeOfficers across Calcutta’s streets said some of the parents could not even understand what was their fault.
On Diamond Harbour Road, when officers asked a father on a two-wheeler to stop, he immediately took off his helmet and said he was not violating any rule since he was wearing the headgear.
“Seated behind was his son in school uniform without a helmet. When we asked the father about his son, he said he didn’t need it,” an officer said.
Senior officers said the drive would continue.
Source: The Telegraph