Helmets And Harness Mandatory For Children Riding Pillion On Two-Wheelers From February Next Year
New Road Transport Ministry rule to ensure safety measures for young pillion riders are adhered to from February next year; and vehicles carrying hazardous goods are fitted with vehicle tracking system.
By 15 February next year, it will be mandatory for two-wheeler riders to ensure children in the age group of nine months to four years riding pillion to wear safety harness and crash helmet.
According to the notification issued by the Road Transport Ministry, the rule will also prohibit driving two-wheelers, with children below four years riding pillion, at more than 40 kmph.
The violation of these rules will attract a penalty of Rs 1,000 and suspension of driving licence for three months.
The ministry also proposed to ensure fitting of vehicle tracking system (VTS) in all vehicles that transport gases such as argon, nitrogen and oxygen, and any goods of dangerous or hazardous nature.
It has been brought to the notice that vehicles, which are not under the ambit of national permit, and carrying various gases like argon, nitrogen, oxygen, and goods of hazardous nature, are not fitted with VTS, the Ministry pointed out.
Accordingly, Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways, has proposed that every goods carriage vehicle, carrying any dangerous or hazardous goods, shall be equipped with or fitted with a vehicle tracking system as per Automotive Industry Standard(AIS) 140.
On helmets issue, the Ministry maintained that since the right size children’s helmets are not available currently, bicycle helmets complying with European standards can be used specifications are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
The Central Motor Vehicle Act, which was amended in 2019, had introduced the mandatory provision of helmets for all pillion riders above the age of four years. Though there is hardly any compliance of this rule, this provision was made to improve child safety, and more so considering that two-wheelers remain the most unsafe mode of transport in India and across most other developing countries.
Currently, there is no specific data on how many children below four years died in road crashes in India. The government collates data from all states and puts all children in one age group below 18 years.