Pune: Concerned about the dilution of helmet law by states, Road Safety Network, a national coalition of road safety NGOs across the country, has written to the ministry of road transport and highways to notify Section 129 of the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
The letter urges the ministry to immediately bring into force the amended helmet law, which removes the power of the states to provide any exemption to the use of helmets.
Under the old rule, all persons, except Sikh men wearing turban, riding a motorcycle were required to wear a helmet. However, it also gave the state governments the power to include exemptions. The provision has been used by many states to provide exemption to the use of helmets.
Activists have reiterated that unless the section is notified, states are free to make changes. The recent Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019, while keeping the exemption provided to Sikh men, removed the power of States to provide any more exemptions. Significantly, the amended section dealing with the use of helmets (section 129) has not been included in the list of sections that have been brought into force.
Environmentalist Sanskriti Menon said that the loophole was being used by states, such as Gujarat, to provide exemptions, even though the Supreme Court has issued directions for strict implementation of the helmet rule. Ranjit Gadgil, programme director, Parisar, said that it was necessary to bring the new section into force, so that any such exemptions by the states will become automatically null and void.
Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE, a coalition member, said, “Even at low speeds, in the event of a crash, a two-wheeler rider can suffer severe injuries, which can lead to permanent disability.”Source: Times Of India