As per law wearing an Helmet is optional for two wheel riders in Chennai. Traffic Police and NGOs recommend people to wear it to protect themself – because major percentage of serious accidents involving Two Wheeler result in Head Injuries. Inspite of this risk, during my commute every day in Chennai I am finding the number of people wearing helmets shrinking. Even people who do wear it, or not buckling it!.
Photo above has nothing to do with Chennai,
taken by me in Lankawi, Malaysia
Another recent trend is the growing number of two wheelers – in which more than 2 people (as allowed by law) riding in one two wheeler. It is now a common site in a traffic signal to find a two wheeler with 2 grown-up adults and a teenager riding altogether and Traffic Police turning a blind eye to them. I find it very scary to see mother(s) riding in the back of a two wheeler holding in one hand (with little grip) her small baby who can’t even sit properly in her lap. Any sudden jurk or shock can throw the baby and cause severe injuries. The dress code of Ladies (Mothers) in Chennai wearing Sarees also doesn’t help in safety – it prevents them from sitting in the same direction as the driver – because of the saree they sit sideways with both their legs getting no major support.