60% of two-wheel drivers killed in Gujarat in 2018 did not wear a helmet

NEW DELHI: The cabinet's decision to make the helmets optional for two-wheel drivers at municipal boundaries has generated great criticism from road safety activists. However, what has baffled many is how the state government did not consider its own data, which shows that almost 60% of the two-wheel drivers killed in 2018 were those who did not wear helmets.

According to the latest traffic accident data compiled by the Ministry of Transportation, the Gujarat government had claimed that a total of 2,546 two-wheeled passengers died in traffic accidents during the past year and 1,546 of them had not put their helmet on. head. Similarly, in 2017, the number of people killed without a helmet was 1,912 of the total 2,190 two-wheel drivers killed during that year.

“Is it an infinite task? Why has the Gujarat government done this? Are the lives of the people who live there not worth it? ”Asked Prerna Arora Singh, director of the Global Alliance of road safety NGOs affiliated to WHO.

According to one United Nations Report, at least four out of 10 motorcyclists who die in traffic accidents can be saved, if they wear the appropriate helmet and according to this estimate, at least 15,000 two-wheel drivers in India can be saved annually simply by using head safety equipment . Even leading trauma experts in the country have rated helmets as number one to prevent head injuries.

The UN Motorcycle Helmets Study states that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a car accident than passenger car drivers and that wearing an appropriate helmet improves their chances of survival by 42% and helps avoid 69% of injuries to drivers.

TOI reported on Thursday that in Gujarat, the number of deaths involving two-wheeled drivers without a helmet increased more than seven times, from 209 in 2016 to 1,546 in 2018.