After facing strong opposition from citizens, traffic cops have decided to seek clarification from the Transport Department, which frames the rules.

Bluru traffic cops not to penalise riders with foreign certified helmets as of nowRepresentational image
news Safey Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 14:46

In a relief for many Bengalureans who invested in a more expensive foreign brand helmet for the purpose of road safety, they will not be penalised – at least for now.

Many riders prefer imported brands of helmet which bear an ECE (Economic Commission for Europe standard) or a DOT (Department of Transportation, US) stamp. But Section 230 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Act requires any helmet to carry an ISI (Indian Standards Institute) number.

But after facing strong opposition from the general public over its insistence on only ISI marked helmets, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic R Hithendra has decided to seek a clarification from the Transport Department. He also asked people to send written representations regarding imported helmets along with supporting documentation.

 

 

 

The decision received a warm response from Bengaluru citizens who praised the top cop for being open to suggestions.

Recently the city traffic police department had initiated a safety awareness drive advocating the use of proper headgear for two-wheeler users. The police had said that half helmets and helmets without ISI certification or those that do not comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards would be counted as no helmet.

Read: Come February 1, Bengaluru traffic cops to get tough on helmet rule

And from February 1 onwards, riders with such helmets were to be punished with the standard fine of Rs 100. However, the majority opinion is that helmets with ECE or DOT certifications are much safer than ISI-marked helmets.

An automobile journalist Moinak Pal told TNM, “These helmets are much for expensive, often 10x times that of ISI helmets. The DOT and ECE certified helmets are always better than their ISI counterparts. Helmet brands like Arai, HJC and AGV are used in motorsports like MotoGP and Formula One because they have better safety and higher level of crash protection.”

Moreover, these standards are also approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the same body which approves ISI helmets.

The Karnataka High Court had also recently held that motorbike accident victims are not eligible for insurance money if they do not wear ISI-marked helmets.

A United Nations study says that a proper helmet can improve chances of accident survival by 42% and helps avoid 69% of injuries to riders.

Statistics from the Bengaluru Traffic Department show that offences related to wearing helmet has only risen over the three years. In 2015, the number of riders fined for not wearing helmets were 1.77 crore. The same number gradually increased to 1.88 cr in 2016 and more than 2 cr in 2017. Until 2016, pillion riders were not required to wear helmets by law. But here, the situation has improved since 2016. The number of such violations decreased in 2017 by 5 lakh even though the ban came into force much after the year started in 2016.

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