Kerala police crack down on pillion riders without helmets
Kerala police, along with the Motor Vehicle Department of the state, on Sunday intensified vehicle-checking and also wearing of helmets by pillion riders. The Kerala High Court had recently asked the state government to make it mandatory for the pillion riders also to wear helmets. "Today, we are just warning the pillion riders without helmets. From Monday or perhaps during the week, we will start imposing fine on them," a motor vehicle inspector told media here.
The Transport Commissioner has instructed the vehicle inspectors to warn the riders initially.
As the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, it is mandatory for every person above four years of age to don the helmet.
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All pillion riders who violate the rule would be fined ₹500 under the Act.
The high court order came 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 exempted the pillion riders from wearing helmets.
Following this, there was a mixed response from the general public with most of them supporting the rule saying it was for the safety of the passengers.
"I would say Kerala is quite late in implementing this rule. Helmet for the pillion rider is a necessity as in case two people are riding, and an accident happens, both of them could get injured...Yes, it will be a bit difficult at the beginning, but people will get used to it," Arun Kumar, a government employee, who regularly rides a bike, told PTI.
Some people took to the social media to poke fun at women riders as they have to find helmets matching their dress.