Wearing helmets sans ISI mark may land you in trouble

Wearing helmets sans ISI mark may land you in trouble

Having booked over 7.5 lakh cases against helmet-less drivers in Bangalore in 2012, the City traffic police have now trained their guns on helmet vendors. A drive will be launched against the use of non-ISI-certified and substandard helmets.

The move follows a report by the traffic department, which revealed that 92 bikers were killed due to head injuries sustained in road accidents from 2012 to date.

“Most two-wheeler riders who died were wearing helmets which did not have ISI certification. They were wearing helmets meant for either construction or cricket. These helmets cannot protect wearers from the impact of a serious accident,” said M A Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police for Traffic. He said the traffic police were monitoring such violators.

“If necessary, we will fine them and even recommend that repeat offenders have their licenses cancelled,” he said.

But several bike riders told Deccan Herald that they will wear what they like as there is no rule to wear only ISI-certified helmets.

“Just look around, there are so many policemen riding bikes, wearing helmets without ISI indication,” said Mahesh Kumar, an employee at a private company.

The problem of cheap helmets has become common thanks to hundreds of roadside vendors who hawk all types of helmets in varied colours, sizes and labels to woo customers, with their biggest selling point being cheap prices.

Siddaiah, BBMP Commissioner, said that the Palike cannot act against vendors selling sub-standard helmets. “We can only act against vendors selling helmets, only if they cause a public inconvenience. We will seize the entire consignment and destroy it,” he said.

“But the law enforcement department concerned must look into what action can be taken against the lobby distributing fake helmets in the market and risking the safety of people,” he added.

Rajeev Kapur, Managing Director of Steelbird Helmets, said substandard and fake ISI-certified helmets had flooded the market.

“Since there is poor law enforcement, their sales have soared and for no fault of theirs, buyers are exposing themselves to grave risks on a daily basis by using such helmets,” he said.

Legal experts said the Motor Vehicle Act is vague in its definition of helmet use by motorists, let alone specifying an ISI standard.

However, the police can book vendors for selling non-ISI helmets under Section 336 of the Indian penal Code — for endangering the life or personal safety of others.
Offenders can be sentenced to three months of imprisonment or fined, or both.

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