No helmet, no petrol on Siliguri roads

Siliguri, July 10: Siliguri police today introduced a “No Helmet No Petrol” policy to check errant two-wheeler riders, two days after a similar campaign took off in Calcutta.

The Siliguri metropolitan police has also announced a ban on parking of two-wheelers in paid parking slots for riders without the protective headgears.

C.S. Lepcha, the Siliguri police commissioner, told a news conference here today: “The chief minister has launched a state-wide safe driving campaign in Calcutta to reduce the number of road accidents. An order has reached us from the state government, asking us to launch awareness drives and implement certain decisions taken by the government. From this afternoon, we are enforcing the “No Helmet No Petrol” initiative in Siliguri. Under the initiative, none of the 36 oil pumps in the Siliguri metropolitan police area will sell fuel to any biker not wearing a helmet.”

No helmet, no petrol on Siliguri roads
No helmet, no petrol on Siliguri roads

She added: “Our officers have been asked to be on alert. They will intercept bikers who are not wearing helmets on roads and impose fines on them. There will be surprise checks on petrol pumps to see whether they are selling oil to bikers without helmets. If any pump is found to be flouting the order, we will take legal steps against the pump owners and others concerned.”

Police sources said pump owners would be booked under Section 188 of the IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). “Anybody booked under this section might get a two-year jail term along with fine,” said Shyam Singh, the deputy commissioner (traffic).

The commissioner said if a biker was not wearing helmet, his two-wheeler wouldn’t be allowed to be parked in any paid parking zone.

“In this regard, necessary instructions will be passed on to all those who run fee parking zones across the town. Police will also be vigilant and take steps against rash drivers, both in case of two-wheelers and cars,” Lepcha said.

Shyamal Pal Chowdhury, the president of the North Bengal Petrol Dealers’ Association, said: “We came to know about the new directive during a meeting we had with police officers yesterday. We we come the decision and circulated the directive among our members, saying no pump should sell fuel to any biker who is not wearing a helmet.”

Singh said the total number of vehicles (all kinds) registered in Siliguri in 2015 was 2,74,988.

He also said Rs 5.43 crore was collected by slapping fines on 83,181 vehicles in 2015 for various traffic violations. In 2012, the total fine was just over Rs 2 crore.


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