The central government has mandated the use of helmets for kids riding pillion on two wheelers in India. Govt has asked helmet manufacturers to make helmets for kids as per their size as well. Also, an adjustable safety harness has to be worn by children for their safety. Under the new rule, any violation will attract a fine of Rs 1,000 and a three-month suspension of the driver’s license.
The new rules have been proposed via an amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and will cover children up to the age of four years. Any two-wheeler with kids on it will have to travel at a maximum 40-km per hour speed limit. The central government earlier proposed to mandate the use of a safety harness and helmet for children riding pillion on two-wheelers and issued a draft notification in October 2021 to ask citizens their opinion on the matter.
While the government has asked Indian helmet makers to manufacture kids helmets, according to their size, the safety harness will come with a pair of straps that form shoulder loops and will secure the child to the driver. As per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the harness will have to be light weight, adjustable, waterproof and durable. The harness will be built using heavy nylon or multifilament nylon material with high density foam and can hold weight of up to 30 kg.
“This is undoubtedly a very good step. We often see parents riding with helmets on, but the kids lack such privilege. Aren’t their lives important? Many countries mandate kids wearing helmets on bikes. Even harness has been mandatory in Kerala for many years now. Several helmets with kids’ favourite cartoon characters printed on them are available in the market,” said Rajeev Kapur, managing director of Steelbird helmet manufacturers.