Karnataka state government has proposed doing away pillion riders on 100cc two wheelers, or below. Before a furore erupts among those using such bikes, the new directive shall only be enforced upon new purchases, and not bikes that already ply our streets.
Update: List of bikes affected are as follows: TVS Scooty Pep Plus: 87.8cc; TVS Sport: 99.77cc; TVS XL 100: 99.7cc; Hero HF Deluxe: 97.2cc; Hero Splendour Plus: 97.2cc; Hero Splendour Pro: 97.2cc; Hero HF Deluxe Eco: 97cc; Hero Passion Pro i3s: 97.2cc, Bajaj CT 100: 99.27cc. To ensure that the practice is foolproof, manufacturers will need to design 100cc two wheelers as single seaters. Buyers too will not be permitted to add mods and make provisions to seat a pillion rider. The move, as per the transport department is to ensure safety of pillion riders who could be road accident victims. With an affidavit filed in High Court, an official circular confirming the same should be out soon.
Transport Minister HM Revanna says the development is in accordance with the Motor Vehicles Act that doesn’t permit pillion riding on bikes up to 100 cc. There is meant to be no provision for a pillion rider on bikes below 100cc. The rules while written out have not been thus far, and that’s being changed now. In the commuter segment, the most popular is the 100cc two wheelers segment, so that limits the bikes effected by the enforcing the law. Plenty of bikes in the 100cc segment offer about 97cc, and will need to be revised as per the new order. Modifications made on new bikes to accommodate a second seat will be classified as overloading and will be penalised. The decision safeguards the interests of pillion riders who often brace the worst in case of an accident.
The decision opens a floodgate of incompetence’s when it comes to road safety. There are plenty of laws to safeguard the safety of riders. Question is how effectively are they implemented, and what has the outcome been. The helmet rule is commonly flouted and traffic police doesn’t bat an eyelid. There’s no emphasis on road safety education to inform road users of the perils they face. Those who wear no gear are allowed to pass freely, and those who wear gear are stopped on assumptions of speeding. Accidents that occur can be owing to bad infrastructure, and licensing corruption that allows novice riders to get on the road. Reckless driving on higher cc bikes is another contributor to accidents.