The tragic death of a young man who was riding pillion behind a stunt biker in Delhi on Sunday, throws the spotlight on bikers performing stunts in the city.
While the incident has resulted in a simmering debate with the Delhi police claiming that they were aiming to puncture the bike tyre but hit the pillion rider by mistake, and the dead man’s mother is demanding that her son’s killers be hanged, the larger picture is the phenomenon of stunt bikers in the city.
The city’s crowded roads at any time, day or night, are not a place to perform stunts on mo’bikes. Even in Mumbai, motorists and pedestrians may be familiar with biker gangs who usually hunt and stunt at night. Many times they whiz by at frightening speed, at other times, they do wheelies. flouting rules blatantly.
Most of this is for an adrenaline high, fuelled by a healthy dose of machismo. Little do they realise that for a few kicks, they are not only endangering their lives but those of commuters and pedestrians too.
Many of them do not wear helmets putting themselves at higher risk, while performing these testosterone driven hi-speed shenanigans. Using city roads like Formula One racetracks or as a platform to showcase motorcycle skills is dangerous. The roads are not meant for this, especially in our cities that see high density of population and have potholed roads.
If they must perform stunts and race like that, they can participate in a competition or take part in rallies. Challenging the police, adopting a confrontational attitude and having scant regard for safety can result in putting the brakes on lives -- of the bikers or others.