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Maharashtra asks SIAM to Follow Two Helmets per Two-Wheeler Rule or Face Blanket Ban on Registration

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The court has directed the Transport Commissioner to ensure that helmets are given to those buying two-wheelers and failing to do so will result in the ban two-wheeler registration across Maharashtra.

The Transport Commissioner of Maharashtra has sent a letter to SIAM, dated 5th March 2020, for ensuring its members (two-wheeler manufacturers) to follow the rules laid by court and Motor Vehicle Rules (MVR) which is to provide two helmets of BSI standards to the buyers, per every purchase of a two-wheeler.

In the letter, the Transport Commissioner has written that if this is not followed, the registering of two-wheelers in the state will be stopped without any intimation.

This development comes after the order of the Maharashtra High Court in the matter of a Public Interest Litigation, PIL 9 (2019). The Court took a serious offence for not following its order of supplying 2 ISI-certified helmets to buyers of two-wheelers and it has made an opinion to ban the registration of two-wheelers in Maharashtra.

The PIL stated that the Rule 138(4)(f) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, which says that at the time of purchase of a two-wheeler, the manufacturer will have to supply protective headgear conforming to specifications prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.

However, in the current scenario, the manufacturers are violating the laws and are not supplying any protective headgear at the time of the sale of the two-wheeler, further increasing the threat of fatal road accidents.

The dealers who have been summoned and made a party to the PIL have given an affidavit to the court saying that eight leading two-wheeler companies are supplying the vehicle to them without the Helmets and hence, they are not able to provide the same to the buyer. The court has directed that an intimation of the same is to be sent to all these eight manufacturers, along with SIAM, to strictly implement this rule.

The court has directed the Transport Commissioner to ensure that the prescribed ISI helmets are supplied by the manufacturers. Failing to do so, the court will ban the registration of two-wheelers in entire Maharashtra.

Not wearing helmets killed more than 3,500 riders and over 1,700 pillion riders in the state last year. With this, the state was among the top three states with the highest road deaths in this category. Also, the state has not done well in complying with laws regarding the use of seatbelts. More than 600 motorists and over 1,000 co-travellers died as they were not wearing seatbelts last year. In this group, the state is among the top five in India to have the highest road fatalities.

In Mumbai alone, riding without a helmet was a cause of concern in 2016 with 4.24 lakh challans being issued. It had dipped to 1.45 lakh challans in 2017 and 1.14 lakh in 2018.

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