The Bombay High Court has issued a circular to the state transport department of Maharashtra making helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders and pillions. The circular has directed all dealers to also sell two helmets along with every two-wheeler. The Regional Transport Offices have also been told to ask two-wheeler dealers to show proof of supplying two helmets to the buyer.
"The Bombay High Court had made it compulsory for bike riders and those riding pillion to compulsorily wear a helmet. It's the government's responsibility to ensure that HC's orders are implemented," stated the circular issued by Transport department.
The circular also mentioned that, "To ensure that the order is implemented effectively, those wanting a new license will have to submit in writing that the two-wheeler rider as well as the pillion rider will wear helmets."
However, this circular has drawn flak from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray. "Instead of issuing such orders, the government should first concentrate on improving the existing condition of roads. Issuing such guidelines to make both rider and the person riding pillion to wear helmets means the government wants helmet selling companies to make more profits, especially when basic facilities are not being provided to citizens," Thackeray said.
In response to this comment, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said that if anybody has a problem with the government's order they can approach the court.
We believe this isa good initiative taken by the government. However, there is still no clarity if this rule exempts those buyers who already have a helmet with them. Also, the quality of helmets sold through the dealer may vary to what the buyer might want considering the average quality that is usually sold through such outlets. So, will the dealer not sell a motorcycle to such a buyer or will the Indian jugaad kick in?