Thiruvananthapuram: All two-wheeler riders in Kerala, including the one on the pillion, must wear helmets as a new rule kicks in from from Sunday (December 1).
A fine of Rs 500 would have to be given for one violation, if repeated, the guilty would have to pay Rs 1,000. If the offence is continued, the licence would be suspended.
The Motor Vehicles Department has clarified that if both the riders on a bike are caught not wearing helmets, it would be deemed to be two different offences and double the penalty would be levied.
Even children above the age of four years are required to wear BIS-approved helmets, instructed the Principal Secretary of the Transport Department in a letter sent to the Transport Commissioner, the state police chief and district collectors last week.
The Transport Commissioner has also issued instructions to the 85 enforcement squads in the state to levy fines from those riding without the helmet. The violators would also be tracked down using the 240 CCTV cameras.
Kerala decided to expand the helmet rule for pillion riders as the state government decided to implement a Union government rule after dithering over it. The state had much earlier granted exemption to rear-seat riders by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. However, T U Raveendran, a resident of Palluruthy, had filed an appeal against this exemption before the Kerala High Court in 2015 and subsequently the High Court had made helmets compulsory for all riders. But the Kerala government had approached the division bench against this order, but recently withdrew its appeal, thus leading to the enforcement of the rule bringing even pillion riders under its ambit.
Price shoots up, no helmets either
Reports say helmets suitable for children are not available at many places as the demand has increased.
With the stocks getting depleted, the price has also risen.