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    Actress Gul Panag and other crew members face flak for riding bikes without wearing helmets while promoting their upcoming film in the Capital

    Many Bollywood celebrities are known to be headstrong. But the example set by the crew of the soon to be released Bollywood flick 'Turning 30' has not gone down well with many Delhi University students. 

    Cruising: Gul Panag and Purab Kohli driving without helmets during a
    promotional event of their forthcoming film 'Turning 30', at Ramjas College.

    Stars of the film including actress Gul Panag and actor Purab Kohli were riding their Royal Enfield bikes at DU as part of a promotional event on Monday. The only problem was they forgot their helmets.

    "I wish these youth icons did not ignore their social responsibility amidst these promotional activities. Youngsters are very sensitive and they often ape celebrities. Wearing a helmet would have hardly have made a huge difference but it would have sent a positive message," said Shweta Tomar, a BSc student at Delhi University.

    Although no action would be taken against Panag as women are exempted from wearing helmets in the Capital, Delhi police has decided to take target the other bikers. However, she might have to answer for riding what appeared to be an unregistered vehicle.

    The law has exempted all women on two-wheelers from wearing helmets since 1999. Delhi is perhaps the only city which offers this concession. The Central Motor Vehicle Rules prescribe that any person riding a two-wheeler, whether driving or pillion, has to wear a helmet at all times. But the law had a loophole and it gave state governments the power to grant exemption.

    According to the traffic police, the implementation of the main law was followed by protests by the Sikh community in the Capital. Sikh men had argued that they can't wear helmets over turbans and that Sikh women need to cover their heads and, therefore, can't wear helmets. In 1999, Delhi government passed a notification and amended the law to exclude all women and Sikh men.

     Calling it "ridiculous'' children whose feet don't reach the foot board of two-wheelers are not allowed on roads. This is to ensure that every rider has a helmet. But India has no legislation for children and Delhi goes a step further by excluding women. Safety stands equal for everyone and even
    us", traffic experts say this shows complete disregard for the safety of women. "In countries like UK, ev women drivers should be prosecuted," said Sailesh Sinha, owner of thetrafficpeople.com.

     "Women are not prosecuted for driving without helmets as the law was amended. They are exempted but as the case has come to our notice and other bikers have violated the law, we will take the details of the bike owners and prosecute them," said Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic).

    Head start
    The biker boy of Bollywood John Abraham is so passionate about helmets that he wears a different one each day. Regarding this hobby, John said: "Bikes are my passion and I take care of my helmets as my babies. Like people go and buy clothes, I go shopping for helmets. I have different helmets for different days."
    "People feel I'm crazy, but I love shopping for my helmets and I have all major brands," he added.
    He stressed the need for safety measures that bikers should keep in mind while riding.
    "Safety is very important and that's why helmets should be a biker's priority. Safety of pillion riders is also important and they should also wear helmets," he said. The actor added: "Indian roads, mainly Mumbai is not very conducive for two wheelers. There are riders who don't take any precautions and are very irresponsible. On the other hand, there are people who walk on the road without thinking and taking care."

    Gul Panag & Purab Kohli Ride Royal Enfield Bikes Without Helmet At Delhi University

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