Bengaluru: Pillion Riders may have to Wear Helmets

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Bengaluru (DHNS): Helmets may soon be made compulsory for pillion riders, too, as the Bengaluru Traffic Police are mulling over the idea, citing the rising number of accidents involving two-wheelers.

The Transport Department has, meanwhile, sent a proposal to the State government to make helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders in the entire State.

Currently, helmets are mandatory only under seven corporation limits.Transport Commissioner Ramegowda told Deccan Herald: “We have sent the proposal to the government to make helmets mandatory across the State as the number of accidents involving two-wheeler riders is on the rise even in rural areas.”

He added: “Regarding helmets for those riding pillion, we will seek public opinion. We are starting with riders now. Gradually, it will be easy to extend it to pillion riders as well for their safety.”

The move comes following the analysis of fatal accidents that happened on City roads over the past two years.

As many as 309 two-wheeler riders were killed in the City alone in 2013, whereas the number went up to 332 in 2014.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B Dayananda said: “We are thinking of making helmets mandatory for pillion riders. There are many cities in India where it is mandatory and we are studying it. It’s still in the early stages,” he said.As per a study conducted by Nimhans, without helmet laws, less than 5 per cent of riders and pillion riders wore them in Bengaluru, while it was less than 1 per cent in other parts of the State.

Helmet use can reach nearly 80-90 per cent when the pertinent law is notified and enforced.

The Indian Motor Vehicles Act (1998) stipulates compulsory wearing of helmets by riders and pillion riders.

Chapter 7, Section 129 of the Indian Motor Vehicle Act (1988) stipulates that every person riding a motorcycle of any class or description shall, while in a public place, wear protective headgear conforming to the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards.

The Central law, however, leaves it to the states to decide the issue, said an official of the Transport Department.

As of now, Delhi, Chandigarh, Maharashtra and Gujarat abide by the Central Motor Vehicle Act.

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