State govt to strictly enforce Helmets for motorbike pillion riders in Kerala from Dec 1
Persons riding pillion on two-wheelers will also have to wear helmets from December 1. After the Kerala High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to immediately issue a notification making it compulsory, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) said it would strictly enforce the law from the start of next month.
All pillion riders above the age of four will be fined Rs 500 for not wearing helmets. A provision in the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act makes it mandatory for every person above four years to wear helmets. The High Court division bench, which issued the directive, also asked the state government to publish the notification in newspapers, visual media and other communication platforms to create awareness.
The bench issued the directive while disposing of an appeal filed by the state government against a single-judge order staying rule 347A of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Act which spared the pillion riders from wearing helmets. The single judge’s order had come on a petition filed by Palluruthy native T U Ravindran, challenging the government’s decision.
Though the directive is aimed at ensuring public safety, it comes with its share of challenges, particularly the difficulty in carrying helmets. The new rule has not gone down well with the vehicle owners’ associations.
“The fine will be heavy on families carrying small children on motorbikes. It’s not a practical law,” said Two-Wheelers and Four-Wheelers Owners Group state president Valiyashala Manikandan, adding it would protest against the rule. He also added that “The government should build better roads if it’s concerned about our safety”.
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