New Initiative on ‘Two Wheelers to Be Sold with Helmets’ in Bihar from 2019 – Should other states follow the same?
Two-wheeler accident cases have been increasing in recent times with more and more individuals becoming a victim of accidents. That is why implementing safety rules have become necessary when using bikes. Driving with helmets is one such safety rule which, though compulsory, is ignored by many. However, to increase safety awareness and reduce fatalities in road accidents, the Government of Bihar has come up with a unique solution. It has mandated all bike dealers to sell helmets along with new bikes. Thus, if you are in Bihar and are looking to buy a bike, a helmet would become necessary to buy. No bike would be sold without a helmet. If you already have a helmet you would have to furnish a proof of the same and then you would be able to buy a bike without a helmet.
Though Bihar has made it compulsory to buy helmets with a bike, the question is, should other states also implement this rule?
Helmets are a must when driving to protect against severe injuries in case of accidents. However, very few riders actually use helmets when driving. If the rule of a helmet is made compulsory with buying bikes, the road fatality rate would definitely go down. Many lives would be saved and it would be a step in the right direction. So, other states should definitely follow Bihar’s example and implement the helmet rule when buying bikes.
Along with the rule of helmets, the rule of bike insurance should also be implemented. Accidents are unforeseen contingencies and while helmets would help in preventing fatalities, the damages suffered by the bike and other individuals due to the accident might be grievous. In case of severe damages, financial losses incurred. To meet such financial expenses and losses riders should buy two wheeler insurance policies. These policies would protect bike riders from financial losses incurred in case of an accident.
Bike insurance policies are of two kinds and the law mandates a third party liability policy on all bikes. Though bike insurance is mandatory, many bikers ignore the cover and ride their bikes with a lapsed two wheeler insurance policy. Along with helmets, states should also mandate that individuals should buy two wheeler insurance regularly. Though the policy comes bundled with a new bike, states should take appropriate measures to ensure that the policies are renewed regularly. Random checks should be done by traffic authorities to ensure riders have a valid insurance coverage otherwise they should be penalized. When the checks increase, riders would be forced to buy bike insurance policies and have valid coverage.
There are online two wheeler insurance policies which make owning bike insurance easy and convenient. Given the convenience at which the policy can be bought and renewed, riders should be made aware of the importance of two wheeler insurance so that they buy online two wheeler insurance policies for their bikes. States should create awareness programmes for bike owners and motivate them to invest in a bike insurance policy for their safety as well as for the safety of their finances.
Bihar has set an example for other states. The rule which has been formulated is in the interest of individuals, both bike owners as well as their families. The people of Bihar would see the merit of the move imposed by their Government and buy helmets. The other States should also take such innovative steps and make their residents safer. If such innovative steps are taken by every Indian state, the number of road accidents would come down and such a decrease would be better not only for bike riders but for the State as a whole.