ECE, DOT, SNELL certified helmets banned – Only ISI helmets from 1st Feb

Just last week Bengaluru cops had confirmed on twitter from their official handle that internationally certified helmets are allowed. This brought happiness to bikers who had invested thousands of rupees in buying world class helmets. But guess what, the happiness has been cut short by cops. Image - Shanu Khan

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Since the past few weeks, cops in cities of Mysore and Bangalore, have been conducting drives where they are stopping bikers who are not wearing ISI certified helmets. They were confiscating helmets if they were not ISI certified, and destroying them. In some cases, bikers were fined as well.

In this, there were some bikers who were wearing internationally certified helmets from brands like ARAI, Shoei, MT, LS2 and so on. These helmets cost anything from Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh or even more in some cases. In comparison, ISI certified helmets costs anywhere from Rs 700 to Rs 1,500.

Tests have proven that these helmets are among the safest in the world. There are videos online which show ISI certified helmets cracking after they are thrown from 1st floor, while expensive helmets are in one piece even after being thrown from the 10th floor of the same building. But, surprisingly, cops were stopping and fining bikers who were wearing these expensive helmets as well. The bikers tried explaining that their helmets are much more safer than those certified by ISI, but all in vain. This caused an uproar on social media.

The air was finally cleared last week. Bangalore cops official twitter handle had confirmed that internationally certified (DOT, ECE, SNELL) helmets are valid and are not banned.

But guess what. Bangalore cops are making a U Turn on their statement. R Hitendra, additional commissioner of police (traffic) has told Times of India that only ISI certified helmets are allowed from 1st February. Internationally certified helmets will not be allowed. “We will not accept such helmets. We will only accept those with an ISI mark.” When asked, what about the post on Twitter from the official handle? He replied, “Somebody operating the Twitter handle has erred. I’ll order the post to be removed.” At the time of publishing this post, the tweet had not been deleted.

To add to this, Karnataka High Court passed a ruling that insurance compensation will not be given if the rider is not wearing an ISI certified helmet. Back in May 2014, two bikers had met with an accident in Pavagada taluk. In that case, the local court had ordered the Insurance company to pay a compensation of Rs 2.58 lakh to the bikers. This ruling, was appealed by the insurance company in the High Court, whose ruling came earlier this week.

Justice L Narayanaswamy of the Karantaka High Court gave ruling that Insurance Companies should not give any compensation to bikers who are not wearing ISI helmets. Not only this, the helmets should also display name of manufacturer, year of manufacturing and size. In order to get insurance compensation (be it for medical bills or for fixing your motorcycle, etc), bikers will have to prove that they were wearing ISI certified helmet at the time of accident.

Cops in Bangalore and Mysore have been conducting drives this week to destroy helmets which do not have ISI mark.

Riding a two-wheeler on Indian roads in itself a challenge. Some road safety activists believe that the situation is such that two-wheeler riders have to contend with death every time they kick start their bikes. Time and again the authorities have pushed for compulsory wearing of helmets but riders throw caution to the wind and dare to break the law putting their very lives on the line.

Surveys conducted on the number of road accidents involving two-wheelers has revealed that in more than 95% of the cases, the rider or pillion who died in the accident, were not wearing helmets. In the wake of such reports, traffic police departments across the country have conducted drives to promote the importance of helmet, which is a positive step. But banning world-class helmets, is a step in the opposite direction.

UPDATE

After the news was published this morning, there has been an uproar on social media. Bengaluru Police have posted following updates on their page.

Hello Bengaluru Traffic Police, BENGALURU CITY POLICE,In reference tothe ongoing fiasco over standardisation and…

Posted by Saquib Ahmad on Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BTP will write to the transport department seeking clarification about the non ISI helmets in view of the claims from…

Posted by BENGALURU CITY POLICE on Monday, January 22, 2018

Many people repeatedly asking about helmets. Please read the following.1. Section 129 of Indian Motor vehicles act,2….

Posted by BENGALURU CITY POLICE on Monday, January 22, 2018

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