28 September, 2006

Do helmet laws save life?

Helmet laws rumors are doing rounds in Bangalore now. My friend and I were debating over the topic in lunch today. His logic is simple: Helmet saves your life by reducing the chance of head injuries in accidents. So why not the government is implementing compulsory helmet laws in place? Yep, there is no doubt that helmet reduces the risk of head injury in two-wheelers accidents. But I won’t vote for compulsory helmet laws for two reasons.
  • There are no worldwide statistics saying that number of deaths in accidents came down in any city by implementing helmet rule. Every city lays their hand on the helmet laws once in a while and sees them reversing the rules after court verdict.
  • There is a commercial aspect of making helmets compulsory. Assume there are two crore (2, 00, 00,000) people in Bangalore. And lets take a quarter of them (which is fifty lakhs 50, 00,000) commute by two-wheelers. And we can safely assume three fourth of them don’t wear helmets and hence the estimate of helmets sale in Bangalore city alone is 37, 50,000 helmets. If we take a helmet cost as Rs.300, then the business potential involved here is about Rs.112, 50, 00,000. The overnight huge potential business deal makes the helmet manufacturers to woo or lobby the government to bring in the helmet laws. It’s back door business for them.
So the best way forward will be to create awareness of helmets among the city dwellers, rather than forcing it as a helmet rule. What’s your take on this issue?

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ranjhith said...

Its hard to break a Law. So as Helmet & so as Head.

Let there be a Law.

Nirek said...

@silent H...
If there is a law, law makers(policemen) will become law breakers by getting bribes.
do u want that?

tulipspeaks said...

we got a law making helmet a compulsory gear for those who commute by bikes here. yet, we do have ppl ignoring it or wearing helmets for the sake of it. as u said, awareness is far more important and significant compared to law.


Ram said...

Absolutely right dude, helmet sucks , i hate it becoz of 2 reasons
1. It sweats a lot if i wear a helmet
2. It results in hair loss.

Nirek said...

helmet laws are always making show sometime here and there in India. never could anyone implement it as force

Nirek said...

even though i take a stance against helmet rule, I am in pro side of helmet dude.
u could avoid both of your irritation abt helmets by using a great one...even then sweating can't be overcome...
and i can understand the hot climate in chennai where wearing anything extra other than basic dress sucks! :(

Ram said...

OK then lemme revamp my sentence.
Helmet in Chennai sucks. :)

Anonymous said...

Wear a helmet and crash somewhere. Then try without a helmet..

We shall discuss with the results...

No accidents/incidents and No risk... Then something is wrong ;)

Nirek said...

wearing a helmet is a sane idea. I have no double standard on this. But dont force it as a law. thats my stand.
I love somebody giving me awareness about helmet. But def not somebody force me to do that!

rahul said...

Awareness is definitely the best option.

But in India, I think helmet has to be made compulsory for 2 reasons,

-- the 'happy-go-lucky' generation cannot be enlightened by an awareness campaign (i know i'm sounding negative here, but that's after seeing enough of 'i-don't-give-a-damn' attitude of riders, especially in B'lore). Only a live example can enlighten them i guess.

-- It might save someone the ignominy/guilt of being directly or indirectly responsible for someone's (who wasn't wearing an helmet) serious injury/death.

Nirek said...

making helmet compulsory wont reduce the number of deaths in accidents, even though wearing helmet reduced the prob of any serious head injury.
There are other factors like
1. traffic regulation
2. lane discipline
3. better roads
4. quick medical facilities availablity
5. bigger awareness abt speed limits.

Thats why there were never been any one statistics in the world claiming that "hemlet law" reduced fatality in road accidents in the world.