Bengaluru: ISI helmets, Drive may be put off

Bengaluru: With January coming to an end, there is still little clarity regarding helmets with Indian Standards Institute (ISI) mark, which the city traffic police wants every bike rider to wear from February 1.

However, there is a lot of confusion regarding the authenticity of ISI-mark helmets sold in the market and imported helmets, which do not have ISI-mark, and this has baffled both the cops and riders.

With some helmet manufacturers are selling duplicate brands with ISI mark, the lengthy process of identifying them has made the policemen’s job difficult and buyers too fall prey to such fake brands.

Hence the city traffic police are even pondering about postponing its enforcement and instead carry out a one-month awareness drive from February 1, a senior police officer said.

Mysuru traffic police had recently carried out such a drive against use of helmets without ISI certification, following which the Bengaluru traffic police too decided to follow suit.

“The motive behind the enforcement is not to fine people wearing substandard helmets. We want to prevent riders from suffering head injury during accidents and it could be only be possible if they wear quality helmets with ISI mark. There is lot of confusion over the brands offering ISI-mark helmets and we think February would be too early to carry out the enforcement drive,” a top police officer said.

The traffic police department had recently written to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Bengaluru, seeking suggestions on the process of identifying the genuine ISI mark on helmets. 

In its reply, the BIS had stated that the ISI mark can be used by only those helmet manufacturers who are having a valid BIS certification mark licence. It also stated that the authenticity of the ISI mark cannot be confirmed by visual examination and it can be sent to the BIS for checking or to the manufacturers. 

Meanwhile, helmet shops continue to offer helmets with facke ISI-mark at prices less than half of the originals. The buyers either buy such helmets intentionally to save money or out of ignorance. 

Another senior traffic police said that awareness campaigns about the dangers of using non-ISI certified helmets will be conducted from February 1 and will start the enforcement drive from March. “We have a strong presence on social media platforms and have a vast audience. 

These platforms would be used to educate people about the importance of helmet and that too with ISI-mark. The traffic police on road will also educate the riders if found wearing sub-standard helmets,” he said.

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