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Helmet Laws In India

Team AckoNov 30, 2022

Traffic woes and accidents are an everyday occurrence in our country. The requisite safety precautions, like wearing a seatbelt or a helmet, can definitely provide you with some safety in the event of a mishap.

Helmet Laws In India

All two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders should wear helmets for safety, yet we see people trying to look for ways to avoid doing so. To curb this habit amongst riders, the Indian Government has stipulated laws that dictate the wearing of helmets. Let's find out about them in detail.

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What Are The Helmet Laws In India?

The year 2017 witnessed 35,975 deaths in accidents due to riders not wearing a helmet; this number went up to 43,614 in 2018. This is despite the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, which makes wearing helmets compulsory. Many riders are still unaware of this provision, which makes riding a bike without wearing a helmet an offence. 

The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 has undergone many amendments to keep up with the changing traffic scenario to make it more comprehensive and relevant. The latest amendment made in 2019 added 63 clauses. These clauses raised penalties against many traffic violations, including driving without a helmet.

Provisions of the Act

  • According to Section 129(a), all riders above the age of four should use "protective gear" when riding a motorcycle; this includes both the rider and the pillion rider.

  • The Act also specifies the nature of the headgear to be used. The helmet must be made of such material and be in such shape to offer maximum protection in an accident. 

  • The helmet should be firmly secured to the driver's head with attached straps, to ensure that the headgear does not fall off in the event of an accident.

  • The followers of Sikhism who wear a turban are exempt from wearing a helmet, if they wear a turban while riding a bike.

  • RTO rules for helmets for many states are derived from Section 138 (4) (f) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rule (CMVR). Per this rule, two-wheeler manufacturers must supply two-wheeler buyers with a minimum of 2 BIS-compliant protective headgear each for the driver and the pillion rider.

  • If your dealer does not provide the requisite helmet, you may face difficulties in registering your vehicle. The material and the shape of the helmet are also important factors here.

  • Despite the helmet laws in India being designed for the safety of commuters, there has been some resistance to these laws. Some states have modified the laws keeping the riders' opinions in mind, and some have come with temporary provisions. The table below shows the provisions state-wise.

State Provisions
Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Tripura Riders will face penalties as specified in the new Motor Vehicle Act.
Gujarat The state government has reduced the penalty for not wearing a helmet from Rs 1000 to Rs.500.
Uttar Pradesh The fine for riding a bike or a scooter without a helmet is Rs 600.
Uttarakhand The state has also modified the regulations to reduce the fine in case of driving without a helmet.
Karnataka The state government aims to follow Gujarat for implementation; however, the final decision will be made after consulting the Central Government.
Kerala The state implemented the latest norms but later had to withdraw the new rules due to the dissidence of the state residents and the Trade Unions.
Maharashtra The fine for a violation is Rs.1000, and suspension of the driving licence for up to three months.
Odisha The state has withheld implementation of the new provision for three months due to disputes between drivers and traffic controllers.
West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh The state governments are not in sync with the amended laws. Therefore, most riders of two-wheeler vehicles follow old specifications and pay respective fines as per state laws

You may, like many riders, think that any type of helmet available in the market is acceptable, per Helmet laws in India; however, this is not true. Often people use half helmets while riding as they believe they will offer protection without compromising comfort. As the name suggests, a half helmet covers only half the head and does not provide complete protection to your head in case of an accident.

  • The Act specifies the features of the helmet you use. Helmet manufacturers must comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) guidelines. The features that a helmet should have are:

  • The weight limitation of the helmet was reduced from 1.5kg to 1.2 kg.

  • The minimum thickness of the helmet should be 20-25 mm, and it must have high-quality foam.

  • Helmets should have the ISI mark; selling helmets without the ISI mark is an illegal offence.

  • The part of the helmet that covers the eye should be made of durable transparent material, so as not to obstruct the rider's view.

  • The protective head covering should also pass the prescribed BIS tests; these tests check the impact absorption under varying weather conditions and at different speed levels. 

  • If you use a helmet that does not meet the specified conditions and a traffic police officer catches you, they will confiscate your helmet. The sellers of the product will also face action.

How To Avoid A Fine While Riding A Motorbike?

You can avoid fines while riding a motorcycle by following the simple tips:

  • Wear a helmet as per the specifications laid in the Motor Vehicles Act. 

  • As per the Helmet Laws In India, have a helmet handy for the pillion rider to avoid getting fined.

  • Keep your helmet safe by keeping it locked or in the inbuilt storage of the motorbike. This way, you will not have to pay a fine due to losing your helmet.

  • Check the fasteners of your helmet to make sure they fasten well.

What Else Can You Do To Be A Responsible Rider?

When you ride a motorcycle or a car, you are accountable for your safety and other people on the road. Here we discuss a few steps to help you be a responsible and safe driver. 

  • Before you start driving, make yourself aware of all the traffic rules. When you apply for a licence, you would be expected to know the rules to be eligible to receive it. However, despite that, drivers often tend to ignore the nitty-gritty of the rules or overlook them.

  • Traffic rules keep you and others safe; you must follow them even if you feel the roads are empty or you will not be caught.

  • Wear a helmet, as discussed above, for safety and as well as, legal purposes. The protective headgear you wear should be as specified by the Helmet Laws In India.

  • You should also keep your vehicle in good shape for your safety. A poorly maintained bike can lead to accidents that harm you or those around you. 

Get Insured

Another thing you need to do to be a responsible bike owner, is to buy the right insurance coverage for your bike. Bike insurance is mandatory but make sure you buy suitable and sufficient insurance coverage for your vehicle.

The right plan can offer adequate financial assistance in case of an accident.

Conclusion

Helmet Laws In India, designed to keep riders secure, are crucial for your safety. You should abide by them and understand them well for your well-being. Choose a helmet carefully; it should meet all the guidelines. Do not buy a helmet just for the sake of it, but carefully understand the specifications. Not only should you research well before you select a helmet, but you should also compare insurance products well before you choose one. Check the products offered by ACKO Insurance to get the best comprehensive plan for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some of the common questions about helmet laws:

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1. What happens if caught riding without a helmet?

The traffic police on duty will stop you and check your documents. They will then ask for the vehicle documents and check if they are in order. You are then asked to pay a fine of Rs 1000 (in most cases) either online or offline. 

2. How do you pay the fine offline?

If you wish to pay the penalty offline, you can visit the nearest traffic police station and check the amount you have to pay. You pay the fine, get the receipt, and you are done.

3. How do you pay the fine online?

To pay the dues online, visit the State Transport Department's website. 

  • Click on ‘payment of e-challan’ or ‘traffic violation’ payment. 

  • Enter challan number or your vehicle’s number.

  • You can pay either using your debit or credit card or Paytm. 

  • After making the payment, save the confirmation message.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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