The state government of Bihar, India will soon require that dealers sell a government certified helmet to customers with the sale of all two-wheeled motorized vehicles.   Effective January 1, 2019, all moto dealers will be required to sell a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certified helmet to customers purchasing a motorized two-wheeled vehicle in their dealership.

The customer must pay the additional cost for the helmet at the time of purchase.  If a customer already has a certified helmet, they will have to submit a photograph of them wearing an approved helmet to the dealer.

The requirement stems from the provisions of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 and the orders of the Supreme Court’s committee on road safety.  To ensure compliance, the state government has provided letters to all District Magistrates (DMs), Superintendents of Police (SPs) and District Transport Officers (DTOs).  The letter directs them to enforce the rule and organize teams for inspection of dealer’s showrooms and ensure that no two-wheeled vehicle is sold without a helmet in the possession of the buyer.

Transport Secretary Sanjay Kumar Agrawal was quoted by the Hindustantimes as saying:

” It was concerning that out of about 5,000 deaths due to road accidents in Bihar every year, at least fifty percent were of bikers or two wheelers and the reason for their death was their negligence to wear helmets”.

Agrawal was also quoted as saying:

Though the bikers in Patna mostly followed the safety rules and wore helmets, those in most of the other districts hardly cared for it. Even in rural areas of Patna, bikers and scooterists are yet to develop helmet- habit.

Whether the new rule furthers compliance will not be known until the sometime in 2019 and the new data evaluated.

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