Bureau of Indian Standards issued a new standard for ISI helmets sold in India. This move is brought into force to improve safety levels and also curb the sale of low-quality helmets. The recent notification by Road Transport and Highway Ministry states that manufacturing, storage, and sale of non-Indian standard (non-ISI) Helmets for two-wheelers will lead to arrest without warrant. While for the first offense, the penalty would amount to two years jail or fine of at least Rs 2 lakh, subsequent offenses would attract a higher fine.
The new ISI helmet standard will reduce the weight by 0.3 kilograms, from 1.5 kilograms to 1.2 kilograms. This new standard will be implemented from January 15th, 2019.
Rajeev Kapur, President of the ISI Helmets Manufacturers Association commenting on the development, said, “This step will bring down the number of fatal road accidents and will curb malpractices and the sale of spurious and fake roadside helmets. In India, riders underestimate the role of a helmet and tend to buy cheap headgear, which does not protect them well and this has worsened the situation and given rise to the substandard helmet manufacturers, however, the current move is likely to keep a strict check on the substandard and spurious helmets manufacturing.”
Interestingly, even international helmet manufacturers will have to follow the new ISI standard. Even helmets with ECE, DOT or SNELL ratings will not be allowed to be sold in India unless they undergo ISI certifications. The government highly appreciates this move and hopes that this will curb the sale of subpar quality helmets. Although the new tests are more stringent and are more on the level of international test, all the international brands selling in India now face a problem.
A similar ban was imposed by Bengaluru City traffic police recently. They started penalizing riders wearing helmets sporting only DOT, ECE and /or SNELL rating. This ban was soon lifted after facing much criticism from the public.
Riders have started a petition to the government. You can find it here.
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