Helmet mandatory for pillion riders too

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Feb 2018 09:20:08

 Special Correspondent,

Making protective head gear mandatory for pillion riders as well, State Transport Department has issued directions to two-wheeler dealers to sell not one but two helmets to those purchasing new vehicles. This means that pillion riders not wearing helmets will have to face punishment under Motor Vehicle Act (MVA).

Deputy Commissioner of Transport issued directions to all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) and Deputy Regional Transport Offices to implement the decision immediately in their respective areas. As new rule will be enforced, showrooms selling two-wheelers will have to deliver vehicles along with two helmets. RTO concerned will be responsible for verifying the sale of the headgear at the time of registration of vehicles. Till now, the dealers would provide evidence of supplying a single helmet to purchasers.

Transport Commissioner’s Office stated that RTOs had not been following the orders to make headgear mandatory for pillion riders. Now, RTOs will take action against the dealers for non-compliance of directions as per Rule 4 (F) of 138 of Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1989. State is planning to include a column in the registration document of two-wheelers that would be marked by RTOs only after ensuring that helmets have been delivered with the new two-wheelers.

Bombay High Court order of 2005 had made it compulsory for two-wheeler riders and pillion riders to wear ISI-grade helmets. The High Court had said that two-wheelers should not be registered by RTO concerned without ensuring sale of helmet. In 2010, a division bench of the Supreme Court upheld the order of Delhi High Court dated July 30, 2009 making it mandatory for dealers to sell helmets along with new two-wheelers.

The legal provision

Section 129 of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 states in clear terms provisions relating to wearing of protective headgear. It states, “Every person driving or riding (otherwise than in a side car, on a motorcycle of any class or description) shall, while in a public place, wear protective headgear conforming to the standards of Bureau of Indian Standards.”

Further, it adds, “Provided that the provision of this section shall not apply to a person who is a Sikh, if he is while driving or riding on the motorcycle in a public place, wearing a turban. Provided further that the State Government may, by such rules, provide for such exceptions as it may think fit.” The ‘protective headgear’ also has been explained as a helmet which by virtue of its shape, material and construction, could reasonably be expected to afford to the person driving or riding on a motorcycle a degree of protection from injury in the event of an accident, and is securely fastened to the head of the wearer by means of straps or other fastenings provided on the headgear.