“No Helmet, No Fuel!”
This was the call of people in Bangladesh protesting the dire road safety in the country. The protesters succeeded, and the government implemented the “No Helmet, No Fuel” law.
The Rule is simple – if you are not wearing a helmet when you go to a petrol station, you are simply not allowed to refuel.
Simple and effective. But why the fuss?
Bangladesh has congested cities, like the capital Dhaka of 20 million people. The country suffers 12,000 deaths on the road every year, with many motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
Well, the situation in Indonesia is much worse.
And this “No Helmet, No Fuel” idea might be the most effective solution we could implement tomorrow.
Because Indonesian road accidents statistics make Bangladesh’s look like child’s play.
In 2014, Indonesian Police Reported 28,000 Road Deaths
That’s 12 deaths per 100,000 people on the road. But this number is almost certainly higher now…
31,234 Confirmed Road Deaths Per Year
This is according to the World Health Organisation report on South East Asian Roads in 2015. Though due to the number of unreported motorcycle incidents, it admits that it could be as high as 49,000 per year.
125,000 Injuries Happen On Indonesian Roads Yearly.
Over 400 people are either injured or die every day.
Accidents Cost 3.1% Loss To Indonesia’s GDP
36% Of Road Deaths Are From Bikes
35% From Buses
1% Car Drivers
Up To 65,000 Fatalities Per Year Have Been Estimated For 2035.
Obviously, the “No Helmet, No Fuel” rule won’t prevent all of these deaths.
For one, there are no drink driving laws – perhaps the biggest factor in road deaths on the island of Bali, and an unacknowledged factor across Indonesia.
Also, the relation of traffic congestion and poor quality roads are undeniable. But these are infrastructural, costly and take time.
But without fuel, you can’t go anywhere. You can’t even crash.
So consider this:
20% Of Motorcycle Drivers Don’t Wear Helmets
50-80% Of Passengers Don’t Wear Helmets
If 36% of deaths come from motorbikes, and the lowest WHO estimate of 31,234 roads deaths per year in Indonesia, that means roughly 11,250 Indonesians die on motorbikes a year.
That’s almost the same as the total Bangladeshi deaths on the road!
Is it time we made sure that 100% of people that get on a motorbike wear a helmet?
We don’t have to wait for government action to do something about it.
If you ride a motorbike, this is something that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, today. The stats speak for themselves.
Not wearing a helmet is now officially uncool.
Be safe and wear a helmet.
And don’t forget about your passenger too 👷