International Road Federation (IRF) a global road safety body working for better and safer roads has welcomed the notification of new traffic rules by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) making it mandatory for pillion riders below the age of Four years to wear a helmet and harness belts as well as limiting the speed of a Two-wheelers with to not more than 40 kmph. The move aims to introduce safety measures for child passengers.
“Children are the most vulnerable, especially riding on two-wheelers in road accidents. An amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, making it mandatory for children above 4 years to wear helmets and harnesses was much needed and had been pending in Parliament for a long time. Worldwide allowing kids as pillion rider on a two-wheeler is controversial with differing opinions. By putting in place a Rule in India, it legalizes pillion rides for children which places them in danger of death or severe injuries.” Said Mr K K Kapila, President, Emeritus, International Road Federation (IRF)
“IRF while welcoming the new Rules which strive to provide safety of children as pillion riders through helmets and safety harness would like to urge that AGE should not be the criteria but that the Child is tall enough to reach the footrests of the two wheeler. This is important because despite the safety harness, during negotiating U-turns or junctions or while encountering other mishaps, a child whose feet does not reach the footrest might be susceptible to grievous injuries/fatality. As such, besides the safety provisions, the height and not the age should be the criteria.” Mr Kapila Said
“The ministry has issued the notification to amend the Central Motor Vehicle Rules to comply with the latest change in the Central Motor Vehicle Act. Violation of these norms attract a fine of Rs 1,000 and suspension of driving licence for three months. Apart from implementing this law, mass awareness about child safety especially is also much needed considering that two-wheelers remain the most unsafe mode of transport in India and across the developing countries.” Said Mr Satish Parakh, President, IRF-India chapter .
“A two wheeler is more often than not the only mode of transport for lower and middle class families. The new rule when implemented rigorously will naturally help curb accidents IRF-India on its part is also encouraging people not to allow their children to sit on front of seats of cars or stand in the cavity between the handle or petrol tank of a two wheeler and the riders seat” said Mr Parakh