Road safety has taken a new step in Mandsaur in the form of ‘Helmet Banks’. These banks stun in both the simplicity of the thought and its effectiveness.
As a part of this scheme, any individual can rent a helmet for free from one of these banks. The renting period is due for short periods throughout the day. The move has not only led to a rise in awareness but also made it possible for those who cannot afford a helmet to wear one. It’s the women in the family who remind the men not to forget to rent a helmet’ as they set out for the day.
The idea sparked when a local club offered the administration 25 helmets to distribute in rural areas. The administration then decided to maximize the utility of this gift. The district administration and local police opened ‘helmet banks’ in five villages on Neemuch-Mandsaur highway — Mundadi, Ralayata, Revasdevda, Guradiyadida, and Multanpura.
These villages were selected because they are located within eight ‘blackspots’ — areas that record the highest number of accidents — on the highway. Sarpanchs were assigned the responsibility of managing these helmet banks. The response which they have received has encouraged them to open such banks in other villages along the highway within a month.
Each village has been provided with 10 helmets. A mere Rs 50 as a security deposit and a photocopy of a valid identity card is required to rent out a helmet. When the person returns the helmet, he gets his deposit back. Each of these banks is in a prominent, easily accessible location.
The administration is also trying to find ways to maintain hygiene. The administration believes that safety was a bigger issue at hand which is being dealt with but they are exploring ways to work on the hygiene issue as well.
Helmet bank is a great initiative because it has generated awareness about safety. At least 20 villagers are approaching them on a daily basis for helmets, and the administration is now thinking of getting more helmets to meet the growing demand.
Two men from Ralayata had died in an accident around six months ago and the memories of that fatal crash are raw. So, when this helmet bank came up, everyone wanted to wear one.
Police had identified these eight black spots on Neemuch-Mandsaur highway three years ago and have been trying to reduce fatalities on this stretch.
Also read our blog on some Road Safety. Measures to be taken care of while driving two & four wheelers during rainy days, here