The Delhi government has put brakes on the transport department’s move to make helmets mandatory for women on two-wheelers.
A day after the department told the Delhi high court it would re-examine the law that makes helmets optional for women, chief minister Sheila Dikshit told HT the government’s notification to the contrary had been “overlooked”.
The June 1999 notification says wearing any kind of protective headgear while driving a two-wheeler or riding pillion shall be optional for women."The notification was issued after discussing the matter in the Delhi assembly and keeping the sentiments of a particular community in mind," Dikshit said.
“If the transport department has given any affidavit in court, they will have to rectify it.”
The department’s standing counsel on Wednesday told the court that a decision had been taken to amend Rule 115(2) of the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, which makes helmets optional for women. The court asked the department to undertake necessary steps within two months.
According to government sources, the transport department took the step without consulting Dikshit or transport minister Arvinder Singh.
Sikh groups have threatened protest if the government tries to change the helmet rule for women. But traffic police and road safety experts say fatalities among women two-wheeler riders will fall significantly if they wear helmets.