Not wearing your helmet in Chennai won’t cost you a fine, but your dignity.
Get ready to wear a T-shirt with a message on the front that says “Where is helmet?” and “Wear [image of a full-face, crash helmet]” on the back. Once you are done swapping the shirt on your back for this T-shirt, you have to ride around a specified locality with a group of fellow offenders to promote the safety of headgear.
Chennai police are implementing the shame-tactic to get offenders to comply, willingly or otherwise, and spread a message on road safety, the Times of India reported.
Deputy commissioner of police, traffic, North Chennai, D Shanmugapriya, came up with the idea when she realised that fines alone were not working.
Officer Shanmugapriya even paid for the printing of 50 of these T-shirts. The DCP and a team of traffic policemen started the drive in Parry’s on Thursday and followed it up in Washermenpet on Friday, where they caught at least 30 bikers riding without helmets.
Most offenders had to wear the T-shirts and follow a police jeep on their bikes through neighbourhoods like Ratan Bazaar, Burma Bazaar and Mint on Friday, halt along the way and advise members of a very confused public about the importance of wearing helmets.
DCP Shanmugapriya says the move has been effective and could be moved to other parts of the city too.
Srinivasan, one of the violators who took the penalty in good spirit, told the Times of India that he’d never again forget to wear a helmet after this.
“I removed my helmet as I was riding to my destination and then the policemen stopped me. But I’ve learnt a lesson and will be careful from now on,” he said to ToI.