As in many countries around the world, in India it is mandatory to wear a helmet when driving two-wheelers. However, are you aware of the various helmet rules that must be followed to avoid breaking traffic laws? Find out in this post!
The government requires the use of helmets on two-wheelers to ensure the safety of passengers. Wearing a helmet keeps one safe from any major head injury in the event of an accident. Therefore, the use of helmets is necessary and mandatory. If someone is found riding a bike or scooter without a helmet, a hefty fine can be imposed. Additionally, you should also be aware that there are certain types of helmets that are not acceptable. Therefore, it is important to know the rules regarding the use of helmets in India to avoid fines.
Why is it mandatory to wear a helmet in India?
There has been an increase in the number of accidents taking place in India, especially due to the involvement of two-wheelers. Most of these accidents lead to the death or critical condition of the cyclist, resulting in injuries to the neck, head, spine, and other parts of the body. Head injuries caused by accidents lead to instant death for many cyclists. Therefore, the government has made helmets mandatory for cyclists in India to reduce the accidental death rate in the country.
Therefore, it is mandatory to wear helmets in India to comply with motor vehicle rules. If a driver drives a two-wheeler without a helmet, he must pay a fine of INR 1000 or may be imprisoned for up to three months. Wearing a helmet not only protects you from serious head injuries, it also ensures that he will return to his family safely after driving your vehicle. In this way you get to take the necessary safety precautions when mounting a two wheeler.
Traffic laws in India on helmets
Noting the increasing cases of bicycle accidents in India, the government has made wearing a helmet mandatory while driving a two-wheeler. The Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 requires the use of a helmet and, at the same time, has imposed new rules for harsh penalties and fines.
- Pursuant to Article 129 of the Motor Vehicle Law, it has been made mandatory for everyone over the age of 4 to wear a helmet for protection while riding a two-wheeler. Some special laws in this regard are announced below:
- Section 129(a) says that a helmet worn while riding must be strong and made of materials that offer maximum protection during accidents (if any).
- Section 129(b) says that if there is a passenger riding the two-wheeler along with the driver, they must both wear helmets with straps attached to hold the helmet in place and prevent it from falling off in the event of an accident.
- Section 194D of the Motor Vehicles Act states that if a cyclist is caught riding a bicycle/scooter without a helmet, the person will be fined INR 1000. Additionally, the person’s driver’s license could be suspended for up to 3 months.
- The law allows people belonging to Sikh families to avoid wearing a helmet while cycling if they wear a turban on their heads.
- Additionally, many RTO rules were introduced along with the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) under Section 138(4)(f) to help two-wheelers maintain the rules and regulations.
- The government also requires all two-wheeler manufacturers to sell two helmets for the driver and passenger when purchasing the vehicle. And the driver is required to present proof of helmet when registering the vehicle with the RTO. Otherwise, the request will be denied.
What types of helmets are not acceptable in India?
Many people in India wear a helmet not to avoid injury but to avoid penalties. Therefore, they wear a half helmet, which is a piece of protection that covers only part of the head instead of protecting the entire head. However, unlike before, wearing a half helmet is no longer accepted under the updated traffic rules or the new helmet rule in India.
Section 129(a) of the Motor Vehicle Law has set out some rules and regulations regarding the type of helmet that must be worn when riding a bicycle. Therefore, the Indian government along with BIS or the Bureau of Indian Standards has issued a notice to the helmet producers to comply with the standards while producing helmets.
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Here are some key features to consider when producing helmets:
- The helmet you wear must weigh at least 1.2 kg.
- The thickness of the hull should be around 20-25 mm. It must be made of high-quality foam.
- Helmets must have mandatory ISI stamps as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India.
- If a seller sells a helmet without the ISI mark, it will be considered a violation of the rules.
- The helmet must have a transparent eye cover so that the driver can easily see while operating a two-wheeler.
- Additionally, helmets must pass BIS tests, including wicking tests, before they are placed on the market. Absorption tests check the helmet’s performance in various weather conditions.
State laws and penalties related to helmets in India
The following table details the laws and penalties in different states in India for not wearing helmets while riding a two-wheeler. However, due to passenger protest, many states in India created temporary rules on wearing helmets instead of the strict regulations mentioned in the updated Motor Vehicle Act rules.
Penalty/Challan for not wearing a helmet
The Gujarat state government has reduced the fine for not wearing a helmet to INR 500 from INR 1000
|Bihar, Hariana, Tripura, Assam
These states subject two-wheeler drivers to all penalties under the updated Motor Vehicle Law.
Uttarakhand also changed the amount of the fine charged for breaking helmet rules under the Motor Vehicle Act.
UP fines up to INR 600 for riding a bicycle or any other two-wheeled vehicle without wearing a helmet
Odisha delayed the implementation of the updated rules under the motor vehicle law for three months due to arguments between the traffic police and the cyclists.
Kerala enforced recent motor vehicle law rules. However, the rules had to be withdrawn due to opposition from unions and the public.
Karnataka expects Gujarat and wants to implement similar traffic rules. The state has reduced traffic tickets at the request of the public
|West Bengal, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh
In these states, two-wheeler riders are still fined based on old traffic rules for not wearing a helmet.
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To conclude, we can say that the use of helmets is undoubtedly a way to ensure safety against traffic accidents in India. The Indian government has come up with certain rules and regulations to decrease the number of deaths due to accidental injuries.
FAQ: Helmet Rules You Need To Know In India
What are the benefits of wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler?
The key benefit of wearing a helmet is that it reduces the chances of serious head injuries. So, in the event of a two-wheeler accident, the impact of the head injury can be absorbed by wearing a helmet. Since head or brain injuries are fatal in nature, failure to wear a helmet exposes the head to serious injury.
Why should we wear helmets while driving?
You should wear helmets while riding a bike/scooter because it reduces the risk of serious brain injury as well as death from falls or collisions.
What is the no-helmet section of the Motor Vehicle Law?
Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act makes it illegal and a serious traffic offense to drive a two-wheeler in India without a helmet.