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Helmet Regulations and Laws in India
Dec 2, 2023

Safety First: Helmet Regulations and Laws in India

Helmets are an important element of road safety in India. In a country where two-wheelers make up a major portion of the overall road traffic, it is crucial to understand the need to wear helmets. The use of helmets while riding two-wheelers goes beyond merely following the rules and regulations - it is a matter of the individual’s safety. Currently, Indian traffic laws have mandated wearing helmets for individuals riding two-wheelers. Similarly, prevailing laws also mandate all two-wheeler owners have a minimum of third-party two wheeler insurance coverage in place. Failure to follow these regulations can lead to fines as well as other stringent or severe actions that can impact you and your permit to ride your vehicle. Hence, having the right insurance policy and being aware of helmet rules and regulations is important. Let’s learn more about the same.

What are the Helmet Laws in India?

As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, it is mandatory for individuals riding two-wheelers to wear a helmet. Over the years, several amendments have been made to the Act. The latest amendment made to it was in 2019, which stated the following regarding helmet safety laws:
  1. As per Section 129, all individuals above the age of 4 years are required to wear protective headgear when riding a bike. Both the rider and their passenger are required to wear helmets that have straps securely attached to the wearer.
  2. The helmet must be made of such materials and in such shape that the wearers receive maximum protection in case of an accident.
  3. If someone is caught riding a two-wheeler without a helmet, Section 194D mandates a fine of ₹1000 to the offender. Additionally, their driving license could be suspended for three months.
  4. For individuals belonging to Sikh families who wear turbans, there is an exemption from wearing a helmet while operating a two-wheeler in India, if they are wearing a turban while riding.
  5. Section 138 (4) (f) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR) has introduced additional RTO rules to help people follow these helmet laws. As per this Section, two-wheeler manufacturers must provide two BIS-compliant helmets – one for the rider and one for the passenger.
Along with wearing helmets the right way, it is also crucial to observe other motor vehicle rules and regulations all the time. This includes following traffic signals, driving in the right lane, not using your cell phone while driving, having a valid vehicle insurance policy and so on. It is important to note that helmet laws and provisions can differ from state to state. Refer to your state’s road and transport authority’s website to be updated with the latest provisions.

What is the Right Type of Helmet to Wear?

As per prevailing laws, wearing any kind of helmet is not enough. Individuals need to wear the right kind of helmet.
  1. Many two-wheeler riders tend to wear a half-helmet, where only a part of their head is covered. This is not acceptable as per the law.
  2. The Motor Vehicles Act specifies that helmet manufacturers must follow the guidelines of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for helmet design.
  3. All helmets to be sold in the market, must pass BIS tests. These tests are designed to check how well the helmet absorbs impacts in different weather conditions.
  4. As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, all helmets are required to have a relevant IS stamp.
Wearing a helmet is important for many reasons, including having a better chance of insurance claim approval than if you were not wearing a helmet.

Can Not Wearing a Helmet Lead to the Rejection of an Insurance Claim?

Whether your bike insurance claim is accepted or rejected depends on multiple factors. Insurance policies have a set of conditions and exclusions, which outline the situations or events the policy does not cover. For instance, it is important to follow traffic rules. If an accident occurs while traffic laws are not being followed by the claimant, the claim may not go ahead. Since wearing a helmet is a legal mandate, the issue of claim rejection may occur if the injured person is not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. * However, there are many factors at play during claims. Therefore, it would be ideal to consult with your insurance company. Additionally, one should never skip wearing a helmet for the sake of one’s safety, regardless of how it may affect claim approval chances. Even with a helmet, an accident can severely impact your finances. An accident can cause damage to your bike and other vehicles. In such a situation, having a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy is important. It can provide the financial support you need to get back up and get your bike on the road once again. * Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under motor insurance policy.   * Standard T&C apply. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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