In September of 2019, the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 came into effect which changed the INR 100 fine for helmetless riding to INR 1000 fine and a hefty penalty of 3 months driving licence suspension. But, due to a widespread backlash from the public, a number of states did not employ the new rule and at the beginning of the year 2020, the Union Government of India had to issue an advisory to all states and union territories for their compliance.
Now, sources say that the Top Judiciary Committee on Road Safety has directed the Government of Karnataka, in a video conference to implement the rules as mandated by the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 and enforce the suspension of driving licences for those found riding two-wheelers without a helmet. Furthermore, adhering to the directions from the Supreme Court Commitee, the Karnataka Transport Commissioners’ have asked offices of all division to enforce the new rule with immediate effect.
In Maharashtra, the Transport Commissioner of the State has asked the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) members of which have been asked to provide two ISI approved and BSI standards-compliant helmets to the buyer of new two-wheelers. According to Rule 138(4)(f) laid down by the Central Motor Vehicle Registration (CMVR), 1989, the two-wheeler manufacturer is compelled to provide the buyer with two helmets conforming to the Indian Standards Institute (ISI) of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BSI), 1986 at the time of the purchase of the two-wheeler.
Furthermore, the letter also states that a blanket ban on the registration of two-wheelers will be implemented if the aforesaid protective headgear is not supplied. Maharashtra is among the top three states with the highest road fatalities and more than 3500 riders and 1700 pillion riders have died in the last year. In Mumbai, in 2016, the Traffic authorities generated 4.24 lakh challans for helmet-less riding. The figure has since come down to 1.14 lakh in 2018.