Govt to ban non-ISI mark helmets

Govt to ban non-ISI mark helmets

Govt to ban non-ISI mark helmets

The Union Ministry of Road Transport is planning to ban production and sale of non-ISI mark helmets as part of the government efforts to reduce road fatalities.

Accepting the suggestions from an expert panel, the ministry is now studying various acts and rules to make the ISI mark mandatory for all helmets manufactured and sold in the country, said an official in the road transport ministry.

According to the World Health Organisation, motorists without helmets are 40% more likely to die from a head injury. Though the Motor Vehicles Act mandates two-wheeler riders to wear only ISI-mark helmets, it is not being enforced and cheap and sub-standard helmets’ business is thriving in the country.

Earlier, a high-level panel constituted by the ministry had suggested clamping a ban on non-ISI mark helmets to ensure the safety of motorists.     The panel, constituted to make suggestions to introduce changes in the design of helmets, said that helmets should always be light weight and affordable to two-wheeler riders.

The committee said the new helmet should cover only the forehead in the front and upper portion of the neck. To address the dust, the committee has recommended that visors should be fitted in every new helmet and the government should notify the standards for both helmets and visors.

At present, India follows the European standards for two-wheeler helmets. Besides, currently, helmets cover the entire head, face, chin and neck, which make motorists uncomfortable to wear due to its bulky size and little ventilation inside.

The panel, which also comprised doctors and automobile industry representatives, said that helmets for woman riders should be in such a design which don’t spoil their hairstyle.

Two wheelers accounted for the highest share in total road accidents in the country. Share of two wheelers in total road accidents has increased consistently from 26.3% in 2013 to 27.3% in 2014 and 28.8% in 2015.

Since India is a signatory to Brasilia Declaration, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari vowed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50% by 2020 from the current over 5 lakh accidents and 1.46 lakh deaths in a year. 

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