Earlier in October, Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) implement a new law where both, the bike driver and rider, were required to wear helmets.
As a result of the new law, a huge number of poor people have been fined by the Traffic Police. People with a limited source of income use bikes to commute. The new law has them thinking that it has been introduced to exploit them.
A Huge Number
A total of 15,167 people have been fined so far and it’s hardly been 20 days since the law was implemented. As per the law, the violators are to be fined Rs. 100. Based on correct mathematics, the money from fines totals to Rs. 1,516,700. 1500 people were fined on the first day of the law’s implementation and the number has increased several fold since then.
People and Police
People fined mostly include those seeking bike rides from work to home or the opposite. Bike riders also have to say that it would be difficult to accommodate people during an emergency as they can’t always carry an extra helmet. Some also say that not all of them can afford helmets, which cost around Rs. 1500.
On the other hand, most of the policemen also don’t seem happy about the new rule. One Policeman anonymously had to say that most of them frequently ask the bike riders for lifts, and they can’t carry a helmet around all the time. He also stated that no matter how many difficulties it caused, Police makes sure that new law is being implemented the way it is meant to.
One of the reasons behind this could be the shares that traffic police get from the fines. It is a policy that traffic police gets a certain percentage of the amount collected from fines. This also makes sense as it is the end of the month and normally people are struggling financially at this time of the month, so why not fine the poor people and get your day going?
Islamabad is the first city where this law is being implemented. Pillions including women and children will have to wear helmets as per the new law. A violation of law rule will result in a fine of Rs. 100 that will be imposed on both, the rider and passenger.
Police have asked the administration to facilitate the bike riders in this regard. It has been requested that two helmets be provided whenever someone buys a bike.
Prior to that, a month-long campaign was held to educate people about the importance and awareness of wearing helmets.
Along with that, 300 free helmets were divided among people to highlight the importance of them.