Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Helmet Rule

I remembered this when I heard excuses from people complaining about the helmet rule in Bangalore. The arguments against it are:
1) I'm only driving a short distance on unimportant roads. Why should I suffer?
2) First fix the roads, and light them properly. (Yeah right. And if you slip on rain water, you're going to ask them to stop the rains next)
3) They're uncomfortable, hot and cause you to lose hair. (Very important not to have a bald body in the morgue.)
4) Difficult to breathe and hear other traffic. (There are enough helmets that don't have the problem, and drilling holes for hearing and air circulation is bloody simple)
5) Difficult to carry while shopping. (They have helmet locks, folks)
6) It shouldn't be mandatory; It's a violation of personal freedom! (That line ends when more people die of ignorance than regulation will cure)

As you will notice, I think little of these excuses. I think pillion riders should be made to wear them too. And cyclists as well - after all, they're as prone to die on the road. I remember something that happened about 10 years ago.

A family friend is a neurosurgeon. One day I walked into my house with my helmet in my hand. He was talking to my dad, when he quickly turned and asked me sternly, "Do you wear that when you're riding?"

"Obviously", I said, "why on earth would I pay for a helmet to hold in my hand?"

He told me why he asked. He had just operated on a girl who knocked over by a bus while taking her moped across the road to bring some coconuts. My mom knew her; she'd met her in a gathering a few days earlier. A 50 cc moped, just across the road. And you might think, "I don't need a helmet for just that much distance, no?"

Turned out she did. She nearly died of head injuries (She survived after a long series of operations). Not by the bus running her over. But because her head hit the road.

Is any excuse worth more than your life?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice posts, went through the whole lot and laughed a lot. You do write well.

Ahem slight mistik... that would be a bald head dude, not a bald body. People only wear helmets on head.

Keep it coming.

3:43 PM, May 31, 2007  

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