Helmet sales in Guwahati are at an all-time high since the same was made mandatory for pillion riders.

According to helmet sellers, following the implementation of the rule on December 1, helmet sales in Guwahati rose 200 per cent.

To ensure the protection and safety of pillion riders, wearing helmets was made compulsory in the Kamrup Metropolitan district, and those not following this rule will have to pay a fine of Rs 1000.

“This is not a new rule. As per Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 1988, both the riders and pillions must put on helmets. Nowadays, riders do not prefer wearing helmets; in such a scenario, pillion wearing helmets is not expected at all. We have completed our mission to make the riders wear helmets. On November 15, we appealed to the public that from December 1, helmets would be a must. The highest number of accidents occur in two-wheelers, and the fatal death of pillions is on the rise as they don’t put helmets,” Himangshu Kumar Das, Enforcement DTO, Kamrup (M), told EastMojo.

“On the first day where we filed almost 300 cases, now the number reduced to 101, which is a clear indicator that offenders are diminishing. We are glad to see more people abiding by it. Until and unless everyone doesn’t follow, we will continue this enforcement,” Das added.

When EastMojo spoke with helmet outlet owners in the Ganeshguri area of Guwahati, we found that although helmet sales have increased, most customers opt for the cheaper ones to avoid being penalised by Traffic police.

“We are checking for quality of helmets, and only helmets which have the BSI (Bureau of Indian Standard) or ISI mark, are allowed. If we find helmets that are of cheaper quality, we straight away break them,” said the enforcement officer.

“After Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has made pillion helmets compulsory, our sales rose from 10-20 per day to 200-300 per day. People still do not understand that this government initiative is only for the protection and safety of the public. Not abiding by it would only result in their loss. The customers seek low quality and cheapest helmets available,” said Nitin Goenka, owner of Moto Craze Designs: the Designer Bike Studio.

He suggested customers purchase branded and long-lasting ones as they ensure full safety and protection. 

“It is a very normal thing that since the (implementation of) the new rule, the sales would accelerate. Some people have understood the necessity for helmets while some feel that this decision is not worthy enough. Still, I suggest customers purchase better ones as it is usually the pillions that witness fatal deaths and are widely affected. If in future they meet with certain accidents because of not putting on helmets, they would then realise its significance”, another shop owner from the Hengrabari area told EastMojo.

When EastMojo spoke with some customers purchasing helmets, we found that they too were happy with the newly-implemented rule. “It’s a good initiative from the government’s side, as it would save the lives of many. So everybody should abide by it. We are happy that such a rule is now there,” said a customer. 

While some welcomed the move, others had contradictory opinions. Some people are purchasing cheap helmets only for the sake of escaping fines and not to ensure their safety, which might pose a risk to their lives.

Also read: Assam: ‘No helmet, no petrol’ in Tinsukia district from tomorrow

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