The Road Transport Authority is turning a Nelson’s eye to
the rent-a-bike business along the beach belt as more than 80 per cent of the
rent-a-bike business owners are providing unsafe helmets, that don’t bear ISI
mark, to the tourists who are often found riding dangerously on the roads.
As per transport rule, it is mandatory for a rider to
wear helmet while riding a two-wheeler and that the helmet should be
ISI-certified. But this rule is not followed by the rent-a-bike owners in the
As per locals, leave alone helmets without ISI mark, the
operators some time even provide helmets that are in worn out and shabby state.
While tourists use such helmets without making much issue just to avoid getting
challaned by traffic cops.
Locals informed that the rent-a-bike operators are doing
a roaring business but were not willing to ensure safety of their customers by
providing ISI-marked helmets.
Yogesh Pugariya, a tourist from Maharashtra who was
booked for not wearing an ISI-marked helmet, told this reporter that “tourists
are not aware of the rules and are not informed of by the bike owners, hence,
they get challaned.”
Another tourist from Telangana Annam Venkatesh said that
“I was handed a poor quality helmet; it didn’t have a strap. We pay so much to
hire a bike but the bike owner is not bothered about the customer’s safety.”
Calangute traffic cell PI Narayan Chimbulkar, when
contacted in this regard, said that “it is the RTO who is the authority to
carry out surprise check on helmets. I have written to the RTO seeking names of
operators of rent-a-bike business and the number of vehicles operating in the
beach belt as private bikes are also being rented out. Through such information
we will have a database of rent-a-bike business operations.”
Calangute PI Nolasco Raposo said that there are many
accidents involving tourists, including riding under the influence of alcohol.
The total number of accident cases involving two-wheelers
in 2017 was 37; in 2018, it was 40 and in 2019 till June 30, 36 cases were
registered at Calangute police station, he said.
Source:: The Navhind Times