A very sensitive topic to talk about, a helmet is a very basic yet important safety device while riding a two wheeler. This device can not be taken lightly and has to be built properly. A good helmet could mean the difference between life and death in case of a mishap on the road. Until now, our country used ECE derived certification laws for helmet manufacturering. The Government however plans to change it by introducing new laws pertaining to helmets sold and stored in India. The two proposals if enforced would make non ISI certified helmets deemed illegal and reduce the maximum weight of the helmet from 1.5 kg to 1.2 kg. These proposals may have been influenced by a lobby which is made up by domestic helmet manufacturers.
The first clause makes helmets which are not ISI certified, illegal to wear on the road and store at your house. While this step has a good side because we do see a lot of substandard helmets being sold on the roadside which bear no certification and by no means will protect you. Banning such helmets would make people to buy helmets of better quality. However this step also affects internationally certified helmets. Helmets carrying a Snell, ECE, DOT or any other internationally accepted standards will also be deemed illegal.
So what is all the fuss about? Can I not have my ECE or DOT or other standard certified helmet ISI certified? I am sure it will pass any Indian certification. Yeah you could but the second proposal of the lobby states manufacturers to reduce the weight of the helmet from 1.5 kg to 1.2 kg. The move, according to the lobby, will make helmets more comfortable to wear during long rides. To be honest, a difference of a mere 300 grams is not going to make a great difference in terms of rider comfort. We believe it is a smart move by domestic manufacturers to banish foreign manufacturers from the Indian market. It is very difficult to make a helmet lighter than 1.5 kilogram with such safety standards at an affordable price.
Although there are internationally certified helmets which are below the new weight limit, they are very expensive. A simple reason for the high cost is the use of exotic light weight materials which are expensive to manufacture. Given how price sensitive the Indian market is, where people die because they do not even wear a helmet, it will be interesting to see what kind of quality, what kind of safety these so called ISI certified helmets will offer. A recent RTI by a fellow journalist from overdrive revealed only 5 helmets out of the millions sold in the year were tested by the government. With such statistics, no biker would prefer to put an ISI helmet on their head.
So here is the problem, what is the solution? One solution is to accept internationally certified helmet in the country. Just like how CBU car models which can be imported and plied on our roads just because they are too good to be certified for our country. They are of such quality that they are used worldwide then why not in our country? The second solution would be to remove the 1.2 kg cap which will then enable imported helmets pass the ISI certification.
In conclusion we would like to tell the Government to not be influenced by any lobby, at least when someones life is at risk. We would request them to keep politics aside at such times. A helmet is a critical piece of safety equipment, it is not an object that can be messed around with. We are a country where people still do not wear helmets, we need to move forward in terms of safety, learn from others before we can go ahead and change such laws by ourselves. Watch our video below for more insight on the same this controversy.
Watch and share this video to create awareness about this topics so that we can let the government understand our concerns. Do not forget to Like, Comment & Share.