From June 1, no non-BIS two-wheeler helmet can be manufactured or sold in the country and any violation of this would be treated as an offence. “The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways through S.O. 4252 dated November 26, 2020 has issued the ‘Helmet for riders of Two Wheelers Motor Vehicles (Quality Control ) Order, 2020.’ Protective Helmets for Two Wheeler Riders have been included under compulsory BIS certification and the publication of the Quality Control Order,” the ministry said in an official statement. This would help avoid the sale of low-quality two-wheeler helmets in the country, which would help protect persons involved in accidents from fatal injuries.
Following the Supreme Court Committee’s directions on Road Safety, a committee was formulated to consider lighter helmets in India suiting the country’s climatic conditions and ensuring compliance among citizens to wear the helmets. The committee had experts from different fields, including expert doctors from AIIMS and also from BIS. The committee in March 2018, after detailed analysis in its report, recommended lighter helmets in the country, and the ministry accepted the report. According to the committee’s recommendations, the BIS has revised specifications through which it is expected to make lighter helmets.
The sale of imported helmets will be allowed under the revised rules, as long as those helmets meet BIS norms. BIS standards are in line with international norms such as DOT, Snell, ECE and Sharp. Therefore, most imported helmets will be legal in India. Earlier, the government wanted to peg the maximum weight of a 2-wheeler helmet to 1.2 kg. The latest notification does not offer any clarification on this. The total number of two-wheelers being manufactured in India annually is nearly 1.7 crore. The International Road Federation, a Geneva-based global road safety body, working for better and safer roads worldwide, welcomed the road transport ministry’s move to bring helmets for two-wheeler riders under the mandatory BIS regime. “This much-awaited move means the sale of non-BIS certified helmets will be an offence once the notification comes to effect,” KK Kapila, president emeritus of the International Road Federation, said.