In yet another step towards eliminating the use of non-ISI two-wheeler helmets, Government of India will soon ban the sale of them throughout the country. By 2018-end, selling a non-ISI helmet will become a punishable offense. We believe that this will be a huge step in the right direction to reduce road fatalities involving two-wheelers.
It is being said that this move to ban sales of non-ISI helmets has been welcomed by the ISI helmet association. This development took place on the sidelines of an event organized by MoRTH on March-7, wherein Nitin Gadkari and Dharmendra Pradhan launched Sukhad Yatra mobile app and 1033 National Highway emergency helpline number. BIS has told a Supreme Court panel on road safety that the compulsory move for ISI certification can be implemented within 6 months from now.
Rajeev Kapur, President, ISI helmet manufacture Association said, “We are proud of our policy makers as this was much needed. Looking at the current statics over 75 to 80 percent of helmets used by two-wheeler riders across India do not meet ISI standards, the market is flooded with sub-standard products that compromise on safety despite a fourth of all road deaths involve two-wheeler occupants. We are now glad that government has made it mandatory for all helmet manufacturers to obtain Indian standards certification from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the headgears in order to reduce road fatalities.”
While it’s actually a thing of common sense to wear a helmet to protect oneself while riding a two-wheeler, many two-wheeler users in India find the practice of wearing a helmet totally unnecessary. While the various drives to push two-wheeler users into wearing a helmet has yielded some positive results, many users buy cheap, non-ISI mark helmets. Such helmets generally offer no protection and their usage has even given rise to a fake helmet industry. Economics suggest that the least possible cost of production of an ISI-approved helmet ranges between Rs 300-400. There are many replicas of these helmets available for as low as Rs 100. Such helmets are being purchased to avoid being fined by the traffic cops. However, they offer no protection in an event of a crash.
Estimated demand for two-wheeler helmets in India is around 90 million pieces per annum. A large number of two-wheeler users purchase non-ISI helmets. The government’s move will aim to convert them into users of ISI-approved helmets. The authorities will soon start identifying retailers of non-ISI helmets and booking them under the law.