Bhubaneswar, Aug 24 (IANS) Helmets will be compulsory for pillion riders on two-wheelers in Odisha, a move the state government believes would reduce fatal incidents.

The new regulation was announced by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi through video conferencing with all district chiefs at the state Secretariat here on Thursday.

“Though the number of accidents has decreased in Odisha, fatalities per accident figure is not very encouraging. Hence, helmet will be made compulsory for riders and pillion riders in the state,” Home Secretary Asit Tripathy told media persons.

He said that out of total road accident deaths reported in the state, about 44 per cent deaths are of motorcyclists.

Policemen would enforce the rules in a smooth manner in the state.

“Police stations across the state will be given the power of MVI (motor vehicle inspector) under which police officials of ASI (Assistant Sub-Inspector) rank or above can penalise the violators and cancel their driving licences,” said the Home Secretary.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.