Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Government has now mandated the use of helmets for pillion riders. According to a circular issued by the State Transport Department on Saturday, the Bombay High Court has ordered that two-wheeler pillion riders will now have to wear helmets in Maharashtra.
The circular issued by the Transport department on Saturday said that, “The Bombay High Court had made it compulsory for bike riders and those riding pillion to compulsorily wear a helmet. It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that HC’s orders are implemented.”
The statement further stated, “To ensure that the order is implemented effectively, those wanting a new license will have to submit in writing that the two-wheeler rider as well as the pillion rider will wear helmets.”
In fact, the circular has asked all two-wheeler dealers to sell not one but two helmets to customers. Whereas the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) have been directed to make sure that dealers produce the proof of supplying two helmets to the rider at the time of registration, in addition to other documents.
While on one hand this ruling by the government acts in favour of much needed road safety measures, opposition party has deemed this issue to be used as means to criticise the ruling party. As the decision comes by the Shiv Sena-led Transport Department, it has evoked a sharp reaction from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
Commenting on the new rule Raj Thackeray said, “Instead of issuing such orders, the government should first concentrate on improving the existing condition of roads. Issuing such guidelines to make both rider and the person riding pillion to wear helmets means the government wants helmet selling companies to make more profits, especially when basic facilities are not being provided to citizens.” However, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said that if anybody has a problem with the government’s order they can approach the court.