Imported helmets BANNED, even if they’re better than ISI certified helmets!

A recent statement from Bangalore Traffic Police’s additional commissioner, R. Hithendra, has sent motorcyclists into a tizzy. Mr. Hithendra, clarifying to the Times of India about the kind of crash helmets that were legal for use by two wheeler riders, had this to say about imported helmets with the DOT and ECE marks,

We will not accept such helmets. We will only accept those with an ISI mark

Imported helmets BANNED, even if they’re better than ISI certified helmets!

Effectively, non-ISI helmets can no longer be worn by bikers from the 1st of February, 2018. If bikers wore such helmets, they were liable to be stopped and fined. This has prompted angry and confused reactions on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.

Bikers questioned the additional commissioner on why wearing the supposedly safer helmets certified by DOT (American transport department) and ECE (European transport department) would attract penalty. In response to the questions raised by bikers, the commissioner tweeted the following,

A lot of motorcyclists riding high-end superbikes opt for imported helmets that are DOT/ECE certified but don’t have the ISI mark on them as their manufacturers do not apply for ISI certification. The helmets that are DOT and ECE are said to be of a higher quality and protection standard when compared to those with ISI certification. Moreover, imported helmets certified by the DOT and ECE are much more expensive, with prices averaging at least 3 times that of a similar ISI certified helmet.

The latest move from the Bangalore Traffic Police means that a lot of bikers will have to scrap their imported helmets to avoid being fined. However, following the outrage from motorcyclists using DOT and ECE certified crash helmets, the additional commissioner for traffic has softened his stance, and has tweeted that the transport department of Karnataka (which frames the rules in the Motor Vehicles Act of that state) will be consulted about this matter, and the drive against non-ISI helmets will not take off until the transport department addresses the concerns of bikers.

Jayprashanth Mohanram

Jayprashanth, the News Editor at, has a seasoned history in motoring journalism spanning 15 years. His lifelong passion for cars led him to a career in automotive journalism, offering readers compelling insights. With an engineering background, Jay has crafted pieces that have gained recognition in notable publications such as the New York Times. Prior to his role at, where he has overseen news operations since 2016, Jay was the founding editor of and spent two years as the news editor at Team-bhp. At Cartoq, he ensures the news is timely, accurate, and resonates with the brand's dedicated audience of automotive enthusiasts. (Full bio)