The Madras High Court has reinforced the Motor Vehicles Act, thereby making it mandatory for two-wheeler riders to wear a helmet. If found not wearing a helmet, the rider’s documents including the driver licence will be impounded and will only be released on the production of a new ISI-certified helmet with a purchase receipt.
The Madras High Court has directed the state government to make wearing of helmets for two-wheelers compulsory from 1st July 2015 onwards. This move has been made with concern over the increasing number of people losing their lives in road accidents. The high court has also told officials to install CCTV cameras in all junctions and roads for monitoring the implementation of the respective order.
The order was passed by Justice N. Kirubakaran who directed the Home Secretary and also the DGP to make the public aware of the happening through media under Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. If the rider fails to comply with the rule, then his/her documents like driving licence will be impounded by the concerned authorities. But with the case of corruption on cards, the court has informed police authorities not to misuse the order causing inconvenience and hardship, thereby giving room for allegations of corrupt practices.
The Surface Transport Ministry has been told to look into the design of helmets to provide adequate visibility on the front and on the sides as well. The judge has further directed the Ministry to tell all the states to make the monitoring of wearing of helmets compulsory and take all necessary actions. The decision comes in wake of 6419 people losing their lives in the state of Tamil Nadu as a direct result of not wearing helmets. The state has always been careless regarding the rule despite the various judgments given by the Supreme Court and various other High Courts regarding the same rule.
The DGP had earlier informed the High Court that a total of 41,330 people have lost their lives in accidents as they were not wearing helmets and 42,53,038 cases of non-compliance of the same have been registered throughout the state over the last 10 years. Also, a total of 62,413 cases pertaining to head injuries were filed in the last 10 years.