In a move that will please riders of large capacity and premium motorcycles, the government will soon come out with a new standard for premium two-wheeler helmets. According to a report in The Economic Times, the new norms will be in addition to the existing ones for helmets weighing up to 1.2 Kg.
Superior quality headgear available in India is usually imported. While these helmets from brands like Bell, Shoei, Arai, MT, AGV and others are widely used internationally, they don’t have one crucial certification to be deemed legally safe in India – the ISI mark from the Bureau of Indian Standards.
A year ago, police in Bengaluru police began cracking down on riders wearing helmets that did not bear the ISI mark. Referring to Section 230 of Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules, the police had said there was no exception for helmets with an international standard.
However, most of the foreign brands that cost anywhere from Rs 7,500 to Rs 70,000 come with certifications from the United States’ DoT (Department of Transportation) and Europe’s ECE (Economic Commission for Europe).
These helmets are heavier than the 1.2 Kg prescribed by the BIS standard and are meant for high-speed riding. Importers had objected to the weight restriction by the BIS.
Many of them get 4 and 5 star safety ratings from testing organisations like Sharp. None of the Indian brands have that safety rating, which is crucial for high-speed riding.
BIS standards after recommendation from a government panel state that helmets have to weigh under 1.2 Kg , while most of these imported helmets are heavier. The new norm would allow imported helmets to also get an ISI certification now.
(With inputs from The Economic Times)