The scenario of motorised two wheelers in a Metro

Updated: May 30, 2018, 16:23 IST | mid-day online correspondent

But, is the two-wheeler an actual step towards a car?

The scenario of motorised two wheelers in a Metro

Representational picture

Motorised two-wheelers are an important mode of personalised transport in large cities in India for a large proportion of people. They have a charm of their own, enabling the rider to cut through peak-hour traffic in no time. Increasing income and rapid urbanisation leading to congested roads, is foremost reason for the exponential increase in their numbers in major cities. Low costs, manoeuvrability, convenience and unreliability of public transport are the other reasons for their increased use.

But, is the two-wheeler an actual step towards a car?

Dr. Aditya Khemka, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Mumbai, says, "The safety of two-wheelers and their riders is considered a significant concern. The riders and their pillions are not only considered vulnerable in traffic but also create unsafe driving conditions owing to indiscipline or rash driving. Potholes, extreme weather, and bigger vehicles only make it more hazardous to drive a bike on Indian roads. The traffic congestion and large number of vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians on main arterial roads add to the magnitude of the problem in a metropolitan city like Mumbai or Delhi. Odd and Even rule in Delhi was an effort to reduce this congestion because the two-wheelers and pedestrians are at risk of serious injuries. Any smart individual knows that wearing the right protective gear (helmet, gloves, jackets, jeans, boots), apart from staying on the right side of the law, is for ones own personal safety. These rules not only apply to the rider but also the pillion."

Some of the consequences of such unprotected and rash driving, more so in a congested environment such as a busy metro could be:-

  • Fines and penalties
  • One won't be visible to other cars
  • Unable to see the road due to debris
  • Exposure to the extreme weather
  • Heat stroke
  • Wind chill
  • Frost bite
  • Skidding due to the rain
  • Exposure to serious injuries and increased chances of fatalities and chances of get trampled under bigger vehicles, as a result of even a simple fall
  • Cuts & Bruises
  • Head Injury
  • Loss of vision due to traumatic injuries to the eye
  • Fractures affecting any of the extremities
  • Back Injury
  • Injury to vital organs

Paramedic help on city roads is a far fetched thought, especially in busy cities, as it may take the ambulance way longer than the golden hour to get you, owing to congestion. Lack of the emergency care on scene would only increase fatalities. The busy life style of a metro renders to the unthinkable scene of ignorant bystanders and people refusing help, with the fear of getting caught on the wrong side of the law.

It is advisable to keep in mind some pointers while riding bikes apart from being well protected.

  • Know your bike
  • Observe the road
  • Be aware of bus stops
  • Stay attentive at the signal
  • Stay towards one side of the vehicle ahead
  • Be aware of big vehicles
  • Look out for objects protruding from vehicles

Riding pillion can be a great experience as one can share the fun and experience, help navigate as well as keep an eye out for hazards. But it comes with great responsibility as one can have a profound effect on the controllability of a bike.

In most countries children are not allowed to ride as pillion unless their feet can reach the footrests. Hence for me a child on a bike is a disaster waiting to happen and not a risk I would ever like to take.

Some basics tips to be an experienced pillion include:-

  • Wear the same protective gear
  • Better move in unison to minimise helmet clashes
  • Mount and dismount only once the driver indicates
  • Sit relaxed and 'as part of the machine'
  • Avoid leaning against banking angles
  • Place your feet on on the footrests at all times
  • Place your hands on your knees, waist or the rear passenger handles

Also Read: Actors And Bikers Satyadeep Misra And Kunal Kemmu On Why Riding Makes Them Fly

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