To begin with, it is quite surprising or rather mind-numbingly shocking that people have to be told to wear helmets while riding a two-wheeler. The reason behind wearing a helmet is quite simple and I have a hard time to think of reasons why it is so difficult for people to understand - it saves lives, period. The police have to time and again remind people of protecting their head through campaigns. Someone at Mumbai Police came up with an idea to make a point. The police department in Mumbai tweeted an image where they asked Google, "why are helmets not good while riding?". The search suggestions to the question were all about why it IS important to wear a helmet. The tweet read 'Even Google doesn't have answers to some questions'. The entire drill was done to make one simple point, something that people should voluntarily opt for.
So, why don't they? With India making headlines for having one of the highest road accident-related deaths and statistics that suggest that 28 two-wheeler riders died daily on Indian roads for not wearing helmets in 2016 alone, one would think that helmets would become all the more important in our country. But alas, they aren't.
Even Google doesn't have answers to some questions! pic.twitter.com/IfIpsyjHr7
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) November 2, 2017
You may argue, 'I don't ride above 40 kph (which many in our country don't)' or 'I am a very experienced rider'. To these, I say that if you fell off a motorcycle even at low speeds, you can hit your head and you can have fatal head injuries. And you may be an experienced rider, but there's a reason why they call it an accident. It happens by accident. There could be unfriendly road surface or someone else (who's busy watching a video while driving - more rant on that later) may make you lose control. See, no one is questioning your riding skills.
Then there are those who lift the flag of democracy, those who say that they don't want the government to force them into doing something (silently implying “It's my life, I'll wreck it if and when I want.”) Granted. But I have a question. When people lose there lives in a natural calamity, we tend to blame the administration for not being prepared. So, to put it simply, why not think of the helmet as a way of being prepared.
Sure, some people will go on live their lives riding and never have an accident. True. But putting on a helmet isn't so much to ask for, for your own protection. Just a tiny bit of discomfort, just a tiny spec of time wasted (or invested) in picking up a helmet before leaving home can save your life.
Being one myself, I know that motorcyclists can cite more reasons for wearing a helmet or rather love wearing it. We don't feel discomfort in them, we genuinely feel protected. We are quite enthusiastic about picking the right one for ourselves. And not to mention, we think helmets can look really cool.
However, I will not go further inside the mind of a lunatic motorcyclist and urge you spend half or all of your salary on a helmet. But just pick a good one with a respectable rating, and you're good to go.
I could go on and on on this topic but let's bring our focus back to the tweet. We searched the same question and were left feeling scandalised by the results we read. There are people who can give reasons not to wear helmets – it restricts your vision, impairs your hearing, makes your neck more likely to break and what not. IGNORE these ignorant articles, for crying out loud!
So, maybe the image posted by Mumbai Police is an edited one, but that is not important because the point they were trying to make, is.
(Image - top: Deccan Chronicle, below: Hindustan Times)