Use of helmets made compulsory for all two- wheeler drivers from 01.07.2015

Madras High Court: Expressing concern over the
growing rate of accidents in India
due to non compliance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, especially
Section 129, which mandates the use of helmets for two-wheeler riders, N.
Kirubakaran, J. held that from 01.07.2015 it is compulsory for all riders of
two-wheeler vehicles to use helmets. It was also held that failing to comply
with the orders would result in impounding of the driver’s license under
Section 206 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. It was also directed that CCTV
cameras should be installed in order to monitor any violation of the above
stated order. It was suggested that the Government should look into the designs
of the helmets to provide visibility on the sides as well as at the front of the
wearer. Lastly it was also advised that the Government should take measures to
make the people aware about the hazardous effects of not complying with the
provisions of the Act.

In the given case the victim, while riding his two-wheeler, was hit
by a van coming from the opposite direction. He suffered serious injuries on
his head which finally resulted in his death. The petitioners, who were the
legal heirs of the victim, got a compensation of Rs.12, 23,100 from the
Tribunal against which they filed an appeal in the High Court for grant of
adequate compensation. T.G. Balachandran, the counsel for the appellants
pleaded that the compensation granted by the Tribunal is inadequate and should
be increased, whereas Shrinivasan Ramalingam appearing for the respondents, pleaded
that the victim was not wearing his helmet and therefore was himself
responsible for the accident.

The Central Government was also made a respondent in the case and
was questioned about the alarming increase in the rate of accidents in India, and the
measures taken by the Government to prevent them. The Court further observed
that Section 129 of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 has been added as a preventive
measure to prevent the loss of life, but without proper implementation, the provision
is as good as redundant; therefore the Court directed the Central Government to
issue directions to the States to monitor the implementation of Section 129 in
earnest. [R. Mallika v. A. Babu, CMA. No. 3235 of 2014, decided
on 08.06.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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