Sopore: “No-helmet, no-petrol” directive of the Traffic Police has been thrown to winds in Srinagar as oil filling stations are no adhering to the unwritten rule implemented about five years ago.
The move was aimed at improving safety on roads and was enforced by the traffic department in June 2011.
In an initiative taken by Jammu and Kashmir Traffic Police in collaboration with Petrol Pump Dealers Association (PPDA), it was decided that petrol vendors would not refill two-wheelers having riders without a crash helmet. On its part, traffic police created awareness among two-wheeler riders by displaying banners on the premises of petrol pump. Helpline numbers of the department too were displayed to report erring drivers.
But despite spending thousands of rupees on its campaign, the rule is not implemented strictly in any part of the city. Fuel stations continue to provide fuel to everyone without helmets.
Many oil station owners in Srinagar city said that the rules could be implemented only if a proper order banning refilling of two-wheelers without helmets was issued by the authorities.
“We are trying our best to implement this rule but at the same time we need support from administration as well as people. Sometime when we refuse to refill customers without helmets, they get furious and start fighting,” said Nisar Ahmad, an employee at a local petrol pump in Srinagar.
“Some riders put on helmet on reaching refill station and remove it soon after,” said another employee at the fuel station. “We can implement the rules in our premises only. It is actually the duty of traffic police to keep a check on these violators,” he added.
Maqsood-ul-Zaman, SSP Traffic, Srinagar city said, “We are implementing this rule in every part of the city with the help of petrol pump dealers. We are keeping a regular check on these violators and those breaking the rules will not be spared.” He said that the department was planning to deploy policemen at every fuelling station to implement the rule.
“We have deployed our men at some places but in future our staff will be present at every petrol pump to implement the rule,” he added.
According to Traffic Police, 43 young lives have been lost in road accidents involving two wheelers during last five years in Srinagar city alone. These deaths could have been possibly avoided by strict adherence to traffic rules.