The Karnataka high court has ruled that two wheeler riders who become victims of a road accident be paid insurance only if they are wearing ISI certified helmets. Justice L Narayanaswamy passed this order in a case where an insurance company petitioned for non payment of insurance to a two wheeler rider.
This decision can have far reaching consequences for road safety in India as two wheeler riders not wearing an ISI helmet may now be denied accident insurance by insurance companies. Wearing a non ISI certified helmet is illegal in India.
The high court’s order has asked motorists to follow rule 230 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, which says that a helmet should have ISI number (IS 4151:1993) mentioned on it. This rule also says that the helmet should also contain the manufacture’s name, year of manufacturing and size which should also be easy to read. This is the first time that the courts have stepped in to enforce quality standards on helmets worn by two wheeler riders. Law enforcement agencies of the country’s various states are expected to start enforcing this rule strictly.
Cops can stop and fine people who don’t wear ISI certified helmets. In fact, such drives have already begun in Karnataka’s major cities of Bangalore and Mysuru. Apart from fining two wheeler riders wearing non-ISI certified helmets, police officials are seizing these helmets, and destroying them. They are also conducting drives against helmet sellers who sell non-ISI certified helmets.
Wearing a Non-ISI branded, local helmet comes with many risks. The helmet may not be able to withstand the impact of the crash, and therefore may be useless in protecting the rider’s head during accidents. The buckles of non-ISI helmet may also not withstand force during a crash, leading to the helmet falling off the rider’s head. This is why it is important to wear ISI-certified helmets.