A memorandum to the Transport Commissioner asked why a ban was suddenly being brought in, when the relevant rules had been ignored for over 3 decades.

Change outdated law banning pillion riders on sub-100cc bikes Karnataka activists urgeRepresentational image
news Transport Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 14:57

A citizens’ collective has approached the Karnataka Transport Department demanding that the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules be amended to do away with the recent ban on pillion riders on sub-100cc motorbikes.

The ban has arisen from Section 143(3) of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, which reads, "No pillion seat shall be attached to a motorcycle with less than 100cc engine." The Transport Department had announced last week that it would be applying this rule for all sub-100cc motorbikes, which should only come with a single seat for the rider henceforth.

This came after the Karnataka High Court pulled up the state government for not complying with the Motor Vehicles Act. The Transport Department had announced last week that it would be applying this rule for all sub-100cc motorbikes, which should only come with a single seat for the rider henceforth.

The Lanchamukta Karnataka Nirmana Vedike (Forum for Building Bribe-free Karnataka) submitted a memorandum to the Transport Commissioner B Dayananda, arguing that an outdated law was being used to ban pillion riding on vehicles that had been designed and approved by Central government regulators for carrying two passengers.

The memorandum argued that the sudden ban will put citizens of all walks of life in hardship and also lead to more vehicles coming onto the roads, leading to increased pollution and traffic jams.

“This ban will affect citizens of all walks of the society, may it be women dropping children to school, college students pooling bikes, working couples going to their office and many more such people who will now have to use two automobiles for their travel,” the memorandum argued.

The memorandum also argued that taking engine capacity as the only factor in deciding the carrying capacity for a vehicle did not make sense, as different vehicles of the same engine capacity can produce vastly different amounts of power and speed.

It also pointed out that motorbike manufacturers have been going against the rules specified in the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Act for more than three decades. It asked why pillion riders are being banned now, after a silence of more three decades.

The memorandum also pointed to a recent incident in Mysuru, where an insurance company denied compensation to an accident victim by citing the rules against pillion riding, and argued that other companies could also follow suit if the law is not amended.

Following a meeting with representatives of the LKNV, Transport Commissioner Dayananda announced that the law will be modified soon.

“TIll then, the Commissioner has assured us, none of the existing sub-100cc bikes will be checked for pillion as RC Book authorises for 1+1. If insurance companies refuse compensation, the Transport Department will stand by the RC Book values,” Narendra Kumar, State Secretary of the LKNV said.

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