mid day editorial: Wearing a helmet is always a good start

May 12, 2018, 06:10 IST | mid-day correspondent

The paper had reported about how a Mumbai resident had donated a sizeable number of helmets to the hill station, after a little girl suffered head injuries after falling from a horse in Matheran

It is the first weekend in Matheran and we hope to see a number of visitors sporting helmets while horse riding. The paper had reported about how a Mumbai resident had donated a sizeable number of helmets to the hill station, after a little girl suffered head injuries after falling from a horse in Matheran.

Horse owners have also bought helmets and will be providing it to the tourists while horse riding. We appreciate that a start has been made towards ensuring safety for riders. Yet, one hopes that the helmet rule does not run parallel with the helmet rule for bikers in the city. Here, we see that constant vigilance is needed to ensure that bikers wear a helmet. Police nakabandis are set up to catch those riding without a helmet and fines are imposed for the same. One should not need a supervisory body to ensure that riders actually wear a helmet. Horse owners need to be held accountable if their horses are being ridden by visitors without a helmet.

Tourists must understand that the rule is made in the interests of their safety. Good counsel needs to prevail and common sense must rule. Having said that, visitors must go slowly on horses. They should refuse to ride if there is no dedicated helper who will walk along with the animal. Wear closed footwear when you are riding as sandals and slippers are hazardous, especially when mounting a horse, and in case your feet slip out of the stirrup. Parents need to see that their child is with a helper who is in control of the animal.

Matheran horse owners want better roads, which is out of the control of visitors. Tourists and hordes of Mumbaikars who believe if-it-is-May-it-must-be-Matheran should take onus for their safety as far as possible. Wearing a helmet is a good beginning.

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