HomeBike NewsISI helmet requirement no longer a limitation - directive withdrawn

ISI helmet requirement no longer a limitation – directive withdrawn

Bangalore Traffic Police will no longer pursue their plan to confiscate non ISI mark helmets. Resultantly, those using non ISI helmets will not have to pay a fine. Only last week we were gearing up for a move that heralded ISI mark as the standard to adhere to, and anything that was not a ISI helmet was going to be penalised beginning February 1, 2018.

After the directive was first announced, and an outpour of rider queries that questioned the safety standard of ISI helmets over helmet safety standards followed globally. R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bengaluru, wrote to The Bureau of Indian Standards. The bureau grants the ISI mark to helmets conform to its safety standards. In response, the bureau confirmed that helmet safety standards are not to be determined through a visual check. This means, officers are not in a position to determine safety by looking at a ISI helmet or any other as it’s not possible to make a distinction. Confiscating a helmet is only a first step. Any confiscated helmet needs to be sent to the manufacturer to be examined.

Bangalore City Traffic police’ special drive to penalise motorists and pillion riders using helmets without ISI certification is no longer on the table. The move is a welcome one, and provides immediate reprieve to the scores of riders who have already selected between DOT, ECE and Snell. A deadlock would have led to unpleasant situations with riders and police officers at loggerheads over ISI helmet safety standard, and what it means.

And quite clearly, no one would be willing to part with coveted protective gear that is a clear representation of passion, self preservation through the highest standards, and then there’s the monetary commitment.

While visually checking for helmet quality would be the starting step, confiscated helmets would need to the submitted to the bureau to facilitate further testing to examine road worthiness. The tedium would include confiscation, packaging and transporting, follow up and re-distribution, all this while ensuring the helmets are not damaged or screeched along the way. There’s also the matter of fake ISI helmet embossing, which to the human eye has no distinguishing points to ascertain falseness. In this case, fake helmets would continue to be in use despite police checks. The police could infact continue a drive against half-helmets and light material offerings that only resemble the shape of a helmet and offer no crash protection.

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