The Uttar Pradesh state transport department has started the process to make helmets compulsory for pillion riders in the state. The UP cabinet had in June cleared the proposal aimed at preventing fatalities in road accidents.
The state transport department has sought public objections within a period of 30 days from the date of issue of notification – July 6. The proposed rules will be known as the Uttar Pradesh Motor Vehicles (Twenty Third Amendment) Rules, 2016. The rules earlier exempted two-wheeler pillion riders, and persons wearing a turban while driving two-wheelers in a public place, from wearing protective headgear.
In May this year, Uttarakhand also made it mandatory for pillion riders to wear helmets. The rule is already in place in neighbouring Delhi.
The amendments also said the “rule shall not apply to any person wearing a turban while driving a motorcycle, scooter or a moped in a public place.”
Like before, the amendment has vouched the use of headgear marked by Bureau of Indian Standards, indicating manufacturer’s name, size, month and date of manufacture along with “three adhesive type retro reflective red colour strips of the size of two centimetres multiplied by 15 centimetres affixed horizontally on back of the headgear which will be illuminated during the night.”
In NCR cities such as Ghaziabad, non-standardised, locally made headgear/helmets are sold. These break easily in minor accidents and cause severe injuries and, in some cases, even fatalities. Two-wheeler drivers too openly flout norms and avoid wearing helmets as a routine.
“Such people are challaned in regular drives by the department. These drives will continue. The amendment will also help us enforce safety rules and encourage people to wear helmets. The move will help reduce injuries and fatalities during road accidents,” said Rajesh Singh, superintendent of police (traffic), Ghaziabad.
According to official estimates, nearly 60%-70% of two-wheeler riders suffer injuries and fatalities in road accidents in Ghaziabad district. According to official records, the highest number of prosecutions are issued in instances where drivers ride without wearing helmets.
In 2015, there were 99,218 instances of drivers riding without helmets being prosecuted. From January to May this year, traffic police prosecuted nearly 23,738 for this offence.