A new challenge before government

Decision in the wake of Kerala High Court’s recent clarification

Besides regulating traffic and ensuring road discipline, law enforcers have a new challenge before them with the government gearing up to enforce headgears of prescribed standards mandatory for pillion riders and children above four years of age travelling by two-wheelers in the State.

Although the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 that came into effect from August 1 mandates the use of protective headgear, the Motor Vehicles Department and the police were turning a blind eye to pillion riders and children travelling without headgear.

The decision to crack down on those carrying pillion riders and children without the protective headgear comes in the wake of the Kerala High Court’s recent clarification that the government will not be able to change the Central government’s motor vehicles rule that two-wheeler riders and pillion riders should wear helmets.

As per Section 129 of the old Motor Vehicles Act, the State had the right to give concessions in the case of helmet rule. But, it has been nullified with the amendment to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Stern enforcement

“We are helpless as no concession can be granted to pillion riders and children. Stern enforcement will be carried to book those flouting the rules,” a Transport Department official said.

As no exemption has been given, children from kindergarten onwards will have to wear helmets while travelling on two-wheelers. Those riding the motorcycle will have to pay the penalty if the rule is flouted.

In June itself, the Transport Department has asked the State Transport Commissioner and State Police Chief to ensure that pillion riders wear helmets as directed by the Supreme Court.

“No insurance company will be able to pay any compensation to those who violate the rules, as the Supreme Court has made it very clear that these are violations of the Rules of the Road,” the Principal Secretary had said.

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