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Police should not stop bikers using sticks, coming in way – High Court

Police stop biker
Image for reference.

While helmets for two wheeler riders and pillion riders has been made mandatory by the Kerala High Court and set to come into force from December 1, 2019, the Kerala High Court has also laid down certain restriction with regard to their pursuit.

The Kerala HC has disapproved of police officers and motor vehicle inspectors chasing those riders who do not wear helmets and fail to stop during checking. Police tend to physically stop such vehicles by jumping into their path or by chasing them and jumping onto their bikes.

This has led to many accidents and lives being lost and the court has hence stated that prominence should be shown to more modern technology in detecting traffic offenders. Below is one such example from Mumbai, where the biker, pillion as well as the traffic police who tried to stop them, got injured.

The court has reiterated that the Motor Vehicle (Driving) Regulations 2017 has listed out the way in which such traffic offenders should be stopped by the police on duty or any other authorized officer appointed by the State Government to check traffic offences.

The rule states that the police could stop a vehicle by signaling with technical devices such as digital camera, traffic surveillance camera, mobile phone camera or even hand held video cameras to detect traffic offences. These can be used to check certification and fitness of the bike and for gathering any other necessary information of rider or pillion rider in the case of a two wheeler or of the driver and occupants of any other vehicle.

There should be no physical obstruction of the vehicles by jumping into its path or chasing the vehicles. This could put not only the riders in danger but could also danger the lives of the police officers on duty.

This ruling was made by the Court in view of granting bail to an 18 year old petitioner from Malappuram. The accused and his friend were riding the bike without helmets when they were stopped by the police. The rider then rammed the bike into the left leg of the police so as to try to escape. In the process, the bike hit a car coming from the opposite direction and due to the impact the rider and pillion rider fell on the road.

The rider argued that had the inspector on duty not jumped into the middle of the road and take hold of the handle bar, the accident could not have occurred. Use of more modern technology should be used to take down the registration number of the vehicle and send challans of notices or fines to the owner in the event of any vehicle not stopping when signaled.

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