Thursday, September 15, 2005

Good Corporate Initiative

IBM, which operates out of several cities in India sent out a mail requiring all its employees coming to work in a two wheeler to wear helmet.

Every year over 120,000 head injury deaths occur in India. Statistics reveal that two-wheeler riders are five times more likely to be killed in accidents than car or bus passengers. This probability goes up by 100% if one is not wearing a helmet.

These statistics never reveal the agony and misery faced by the families whose loved one is critically injured or dies. Safety experts stress that while helmets do not prevent accidents, they are extremely effective at reducing the severity of head injuries when they do occur. helmets absorb the blow spreading the impact over a larger area and the resulting time lag ultimately reduces the intensity reaching the brain.

As this area falls under the purview of State Governments, there is NO uniform law on two wheeler rider safety in India. For example, Tamil Nadu State Government has been flip flopping on this subject for a while.

While the State Governments have been dithering, it is good see initiatives coming out of large corporate houses like IBM. I hope other corporate majors also for IBM suit and enforce a compulsory helmet policy which might eventually get the State Governments to act.