The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 was established to maintain the legal safety of the motorbike community. Over the years, it has undergone several amendments to make more inclusions and reinforce compliance.
The latest Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 included 63 new clauses, which stated increased penalties against an array of traffic offenses. One of these concerns was driving without a helmet.
Section 129 of this principal Act mandates every individual aged above 4 years to “wear protective headgear” when riding a motorcycle in a public area. As already mentioned, these helmet laws for motorcycles include both the driver and pillion rider.
These laws also mandate specific standards for the headgear or helmet to be used. These are:
- As per Section 129(a), a helmet must be built with such materials in such a shape that it must be capable of offering maximum protection from injury in case of an accident.
- Section 129(b) mentions that the helmet must be fastened to the driver’s head or rider with firm fasteners, like straps attached with it. This ensures that this protective headgear does not fall off the wearer’s head in case of an accident.
Non-compliance with the laws mentioned above can subject motorcycle riders to a fine for not wearing a helmet worth Rs.1000 under Section 194D of this Act (5). Besides, this traffic offense can also cause you to get your driving license suspended for 3 months.
However, you can avoid the mandate of wearing a helmet if you belong to the Sikh community and you are wearing a turban while driving or riding a motorcycle on the road.
To help motorcycle riders adhere to these regulations and avoid a hefty penalty, several state’s RTO rules for helmets are derived from Section 138 (4) (f) of Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR).
This rule mandates all two-wheeler manufacturers to supply buyers with at least 2 BIS compliant headgears, for driver and pillion rider, at the time of vehicle purchase. You might face difficulties in registering your two-wheeler if your dealer fails to submit proof for the same to the RTO.
However, just possessing 2 helmets is not all you can do to prevent yourself from incurring penalties. The actual material and build quality of these protective gears are important factors to consider too.