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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    April 25, 2005

    Karnataka government making helmets compulsory

    The state government has made it mandatory for two-wheeler riders and their co-travellers to wear helmets. The rule will be brought into place from June 2005. This has obviously provoked a section of the two-wheeler population into airing their views.

    My view is that wearing a helmet is obviously a good thing, considering the fact that experts believe it significantly reduces the chances of head injury in the event of an accident. But I do not believe that the government should impose it on the population. Less interference by the government in everyday life will never be a bad thing. Instead of making helmet-wearing mandatory, I think the better way off would have been to let two wheeler riders decide if they wanted to wear one or not. After all, if you give them a license to drive on the roads with the knowledge that they are capable of taking care of themselves (and others), then you must acknowledge that they are sane enough to decide their fate.

    Of course, this should come with a caveat. The government will not pay any ex-gratia money in case someone not wearing a helmet died in a road accident, especially if it can be proven that had that person wore a helmet, he/she could have survived. This would reduce the subsidization of careless drivers, and their helmet-less victims, by those who do not belong to either creed. Insurance companies should also do the same thing. Essentially your medical or life insurance would no longer be valid for a claim in the same scenario.

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