Bengaluru, Jan 06, 2018 : If you are a motorist riding with a helmet and stopped by the traffic police, make sure you have a standard headgear on.
For, the city traffic police would fine anyone wearing a low-grade helmet and will even seize the bike. The police will release the vehicle only if the rider produces a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)-approved helmet and a purchase bill to prove they bought it (apparently to ensure the helmet is not borrowed to get the bike released).
As the Mysuru police began penalising riders using inferior quality helmets, the Bengaluru traffic police wrote to the standards bureau to get a definition on a standard headgear. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R Hithendra quoted Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act to point out that both the rider and the pillion passenger should wear helmets.
"Helmets should conform to the BIS," he reiterated, while trying to explain the rationale behind consulting the bureau.
"But there’s confusion over the legality of a half-helmet or what kind of full-helmet is legal. We ourselves aren’t competent to determine this."
The ACP expects response from the BIS in a week, following which the police would inform the public about the standards.
"We’ve given a month’s time to the motorists to ensure they wear standard helmets (with the ISI mark). In that one month, we intend to hold awareness programmes."
He also suggested riders buy helmets from BIS-authorised dealers to avoid fake ISI-branded gears. The ACP urged policemen to replace their half-helmets with a standard one. "There’s no separate law for police. They’ve the same time period to change," he added.
Principal secretary, transport, B Basavaraju said transport officials are planning to raid factories and shops, selling poor quality helmets.
"The state government has also issued a notification on using standard helmets in the interest of the public," he said.
On Tuesday, the Mysuru police seized 15,504 sub-standard helmets and began fining riders from Wednesday.
"We began with spreading awareness among the riders," Mysuru City Police Commissioner A Subrahmanyeswara Rao said. "We began enforcing the rule after giving them sufficient time. We’ve now stopped it and have given till January 6 for riders to switch to standard helmets."
BIS-approved helmets go through stringent tests. For instance, the buckle on such helmets should remain latched after taking a load of 150 kg.