Rash riders taunt danger

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There is a fine line that separates pleasure from pain, and when one is young and restless the demarcation tends to blur resulting in hazardous repercussions. The recent accidental death of a 19-year-old biker Karan Pandey, who was shot in an open firing by Delhi Police near Le Meridien hotel, generated a strong response from biking enthusiasts across the capital. Although some people were shocked to learn that the cops took an extreme measure by shooting at the bikers, a few felt an incident like this will come across as a warning for reckless riders.
Shankar Govind, a professional biker and a dirt bike champion, mentions that it was a very unfortunate incident and cops could have avoided shooting. He says, “There are many active stunt bikers in the city who break traffic laws and often ride without paying any heed to safety. There are many things that are very unclear in this particular incident — first of all, who gave the police permission to shoot at the bikers? Even while they are claiming that they were trying to shoot at the tyre and because the biker performed a wheelie at the same time the bullet hit the pillion rider, it sounds dicey because it’s not possible to turn the bike upside down. And it’s very strange that to control a big group of riders other PCR vans were not called by the police officials.”
Shankar, who organises professional bike races in the city, informs, “When I organise bike races in the city, we prefer the enclosed mud terrain in our Chhattarpur track. A few years back, when Dhoom was released, many young bikers wanted to learn the stunts, but they were not aware about road safety. We also train young bikers and teach them stunts, but we make sure that they use the safety gear before trying out such activities.”
Similarly, Maninder Singh Prince, a national bike champion, reveals that he started riding bikes at a very young age and was very fascinated by the stunt riders, however, he soon left the big groups and took professional training. He says, “In the past few years the number of so called stunt riders have decreased sharply in the city. The Delhi police have taken strict measures to control rash driving in the city.”
Whereas, Kartik* (name changed on request), a young biking enthusiast and founder of an underground biking group called DRUGS (Delhi Riders Ultimate Group of Superbikers), mentions that due to the strict rules and regulations in the city his biker group now performs stunts in the city outskirts.
He informs, “Our group has around 15 members. We usually meet in the weekends and perform stunts in isolated areas of Gurgaon or Noida. We have races after midnight or early morning, when the traffic on road is clear.”
However, this recent biking incident has brought many professional biking groups under scrutiny, and to clear the difference between responsible bikers and rash riders, a biking group called Bikers for Good will be conducting an awareness ride for the general public. Mohit Ahuja, founder of Bikers for Good, mentions, “We are a group of bike riders and we even have trained stunt bikers in our group, who perform in enclosed and safe zones. What happened to the teenage rider was very sad, but there are many rowdy riders in the city who often form groups and block traffic routes or ride irresponsibly and jeopardise the lives of other citizens. Areas around India Gate and Parliament Street are infamous for these activities, and many cases of rash driving were reported there in the past.”
Mohit adds, “We will be organising a ride on 15 August to support the government’s step to curb rash driving. A lot of protest rallies have taken place whenever the government has taken some strict action, but this is our way to show our displeasure against irresponsible bike riders, who give a bad name to the entire biking fraternity.”

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