Now two-wheeler helmets to have mandatory BIS certification: Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari gestures at a function on the occasion of "International Labour Day" in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

To reduce fatalities in road accidents, the government has recommended bringing two wheeler helmets under mandatory certification of BIS and having 'two wheels' marking in word or picture on them, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said.

The new helmets to be designed on the recommendations of a committee will also be India-specific and will weigh at least 300 grams less than the existing ones.

"We have approved reports of a committee and have recommended bringing the two-wheeler helmets under mandatory certification scheme of BIS. Recommendations include marking of 'two-wheeler' mark in words or picture to distinguish the two-wheeler automobile helmet from other helmets," the road transport and highways minister told PTI.

The steps are aimed at not only bringing down the road fatalities but also to promote the usage of the helmet while riding a two-wheeler without compromising safety, Gadkari said.

A Ministry of Road Transport and Highways appointed-committee, headed by Joint Secretary, Transport, Abhay Damle after studying various aspects have come out with a set of recommendations that include a reduction in weight by at least 300 grams.

"We have approved the committee's recommendations that include upgradation of visor standard to provide scratch resistance performance and improved optical quality," Gadkari said.

The minister said the spurious helmets in the market put the safety of the rider at risk as they are sold at a low price and are lightweight and save the users from penalties but are dangerous as broken helmet itself inflicts injuries.

He also said that based on recommendations of the trauma centre experts, it has been decided to do away with the penetration test, currently in practice for helmets as no instances of injuries are observed with sharp edges.

However, ear protection part in the helmet will be mandatory.

"This will help to reduce weight from 1.5 kg to 1.2 kg, thereby making helmets lighter by 300 gms," the minister said.

Once the system gets in place the government will take strict action against non-BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) helmets and there will be a drive against spurious/ non-BIS helmets, he added.

Gadkari also expressed hope that this will check the number of road crashes fatalities in India, which accounts for 5 lakh accidents in a year where 1.5 lakh people die.

He said a large number of those killed or injured are pedestrians or two-wheeler riders.

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Now two-wheeler helmets to have mandatory BIS certification: Gadkari

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