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Dangerous bike stunts can be stopped -- WITHOUT bullets

Last updated on: August 08, 2013 20:32 IST

Dangerous bike stunts can be stopped -- WITHOUT bullets

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Use of bullets to handle menace of biker gangs is no solution at all, says Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com. An avid biker, Faisal offers some practical measures that can help curb the dangerous biking menace without firing a single bullet.

A recent tragedy in Delhi left a young man riding pillion on a bike shot dead by the police, because the rider was performing stunts on the vehicle.

Higher authorities misuse power while today's youngsters feel they are above all.

Biking is a passion. It's a sense of freedom and enjoyment only a biker can understand. Each one of us has longed to own a bike at some point in our lives; some make it happen, while others are convinced that biking is unsafe. Indian roads are some of the worst in the world and unfortunately, it's our own government which is responsible for this and has therefore made biking unsafe. The bad roads, potholes and unmarked and amoeba-shaped speed breakers are all perils.

And now a new factor -- stunting on the streets -- has emerged that is rather disconcerting. 

YOUR SAY: Did the Delhi Police need to shoot to stop rowdy bikers?

NOTE: All pictures used only for representational purpose.


Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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On July 28, a policeman shot dead a pillion rider on a bike while trying to puncture the vehicle's tyres with his bullets. The deceased was just 19 years old. Is this a case of taking power too far?

Yes the rider was taking liberties with his dangerous manoeuvres, but the pillion paid for it -- with his life.

All of us know what it's like being teenagers -- rational thinking is rare and common sense usually takers a backseat when it comes to capers like this.

Newbie bikers get carried away for several reasons. When you're young, you crave attention by pulling off stunts, hoping you will draw a crowd. Little do you realise that you are putting your life and the lives of people around you at risk.

So when gangs of bikers dominate the streets of Delhi with their mean machines, it's hardly morally right or legal; biking never has been about harassing others and making a nuisance of yourself. It's something you enjoy alone or with fellow bikers without causing any harm to the public.

And all bikers are not like these throttle-happy teens. A biker is a responsible individual who respects his/her machine and fellow citizens. No sensible biker stunts in public or races on the streets, but then newbies don't understand what stunting is all about; they think it's a public display of skill, but it's not.

It's a public display of foolishness.


Photographs: Stunt in movie Mumbai Mirror

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While some may reward your foolhardiness with applause, most will laugh at your stupidity. If you are hoping to attract the opposite sex, you're on the wrong track; the only thing you will attract is trouble.

Such acts and incidents cast bikers in the wrong light. Not every biker is disrespectful or ignorant. There are many among us who have never done a wheelie or a stoppie, yet we eat, breathe and dream motorcycles day-in and day-out.

So remember, all you young bikers who think that lifting your front wheel while riding is cool, one day you will injure yourself and then you'll quit stunting. So it's best to learn from others' experiences. Stop doing things your parents don't approve of and may cause hurt to the people around you.

As to how this menace can be curbed, our officials need to realise that they have a lot of resources at hand and that they don't even need to lift their lathis, let alone fire bullets. Stricter surveillance is enough to put an end to this juvenile behaviour.

Why did a Delhi cop take such drastic action without discussing it with colleagues or authorising it with superiors beforehand? Would he have tried puncturing the tyre if it was his son riding pillion? I think not.

It's easy for the Delhi police force to brush this off as an unfortunate and unintentional accident, but the damage has been done. Why doesn't the force move with the same zest while dealing with other criminal activities? Why do they take a back seat when it comes to the safety of women?


Photographs: Sahil Salvi

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When I photograph bikes, cops often interrupt, asking me if I have 'permission', telling me to go away. You can't take photographs on the road -- but apparently you can spit anywhere you like.

So how should the authorities act?

Simply setting up speed cameras where stunts are known to take place will help. The cops can trace the bikers via their registration numbers and strict action should be taken (cancellation of license, heavy fines etc).

The youth have it in them to indulge in such activities, but we need to stop them. We need to educate them. If they still have a need for speed, they can enjoy it elsewhere, like on racetracks which are monitored. They are needed.

In other countries, far more powerful bikes than the average Indian two-wheeler are available for far less money, but such incidents of road rage are still not reported as frequently. We need change -- and we need it now.


Photographs: Saad Shalash/Reuters

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