Two-wheeler dealers in Rajasthan and Kerala are up in arms about the new Central Government rule which requires dealers to provide helmets as well as other safety bits such as crash guards with every motorcycle they sell. The cost of providing these will have to be borne by the dealer. The problem they face is that this will eat into their margins. The transport departments of both states have issued the notice with a view to curb accident related deaths and injuries. The dealers feel that the manufacturers should provide helmets and crash guards with the bikes, and bear the expense. As per the Rule 138 (F) of the Act, two-wheeler manufacturers have to provide an ISI certified helmet with the vehicle. Reports suggest that about 1.4 lakh people suffer fatal injuries every year. Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobiles Manufacturers (SIAM) said, “We have started consultation with the manufacturers and will take a decision on it. We certainly follow the regulation. If we have to provide additional items then certainly the cost will be added to the price of the bike.”
The Government focus on road safety is commendable – despite being lamentably late – adding free helmets (virtually guaranteed to be bargain basement as a direct result) and crash guards (no proven data that they protect the rider as far as we can find) isn’t the only solution. Implementing and enforcing helmet laws would probably have a far bigger impact as would tightening up the licensing process so actually qualified riders get licenses. As usual, we seem to be moving in the right direction but the people in the position to make drastic and useful decisions appear not to know enough about the data, science and logic of their moves. OVERDRIVE thinks helmets are a fantastic idea and you shouldn’t be riding without them. But forcing free helmets on new two-wheeler buyers can only have, at the very maximum, a minor impact. Any is better than none, but more needs to be done.
Source: ET Auto