Hyderabad: The pillion rider helmet rule is creating problems for the ‘captains’ or operators of bike taxis in the city, as the traffic police has instructed the bike taxi companies like Rapido, Ola, and Uber to ensure that the person utilising the services also wear helmets compulsorily.
However, according to the operators, pillion riders or passengers are often reluctant to wear helmets citing various reasons. The most common reason given by customers is that wearing a helmet used by another person is not good for health. Others also cite the heat during summer season and also a risk of getting infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus..
Munir Ahmed, a Rapido bike captain said, “I never paid challan all my life as I always maintain traffic rules. I use a helmet regularly and keep all the documents in order. But I was shocked when I was fined Rs.150 on March 23 due to the refusal of a passenger to use the helmet as he was scared of COVID-19.”
According to Munir Ahmed, he tried to convince the passenger to wear a helmet but the passenger posed a question to him as to who would be responsible if he contracts the coronavirus by wearing an “unhygienic helmet”.
“Many a time pillion passengers refuse to wear the helmets due to odour emanating from helmets, and if we ask them to use it, they get irritated,” said Shiva Naik, another bike taxi captain.