Authorities have given retailers two months to clear the stock, post which the sale of non-ISI helmets will be a punishable offence.
The Road Transport and Highway Ministry has announced a ban on the sale of non-ISI marked helmets. This ban will come into effect in two months’ time. Retailers have been asked to do away with existing stock in that time. Post the ban, sale of non-ISI helmets will lead to a two-year jail term or a fine of ₹2 lakh. The ministry hopes that banning the sale of non-ISI helmets will result in fewer road fatalities.
While this new law has been passed with the right intentions, its execution will also put an end to the sale of international brands like ARAI, AGV, HJC, Shoei and more. And that is despite the fact that these brands are rated by international standards like DOT, ECE or SNELL, which are miles ahead in terms of safety standards.
Earlier in January, the Bengaluru Traffic Police passed a similar law that prohibits the use of any lid that hasn’t been certified by ISI. But subsequent to a lot of criticism and feedback on the twitter page, they permitted usage of helmets that meet international standards. In fact, their twitter page also declared that they have communicated the concern to the ministry, and it is under consideration. Despite that, the sale of helmets that meet these international standards has been banned too. In fact, the Rajeev Kapur, President of the ISI Helmets Manufacturers Association (ISIHMA), stated that these brands too will need to adhere to ISI standards otherwise sale of such helmets will not be permitted.
Regulations like these make us question the government’s knowledge on the subject matter and their ability to make key decisions. Just over a week ago, ISI introduced new helmet safety standards that limit its maximum weight to just 1.2 kilograms. Most good quality helmets that meet international standards weigh between 1.3 and 1.5kg, and it's only the ridiculously expensive carbon fibre lids that tip the scale below 1.2 kilograms. Restricting the weight of helmets is sure to compromise its safety.
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