New Delhi: It is now mandatory for woman pillion riders to wear helmets in the national capital.
The Delhi government issued a gazette notification today and the rule will come into effect immediately. It also invited objections and suggestions from public within 30 days from today.
Delhi`s Chief Electoral Office had recently given a go-ahead to the state government`s plea to implement the decision of making wearing of helmets mandatory for women two-wheeler riders within the city.
The proposal had already been approved by Delhi`s Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.
According to the order, the sub-rule (2)of rule 115 (that exempts women from wearing helmets) in the Delhi motor vehicles rules, 1993 has been deleted.
The new rules may be called Delhi motor vehicles (amendment) rules, 2014, the notification said.
Police will now start issuing challans to women riders too, if they do not wear helmets.
According to a recent World Health Organization report, India has the highest number of road deaths in a year in the world - 105,725 deaths, followed by China (96,611), the US (42,642) and Russia (35,972).
According to the Delhi`s transport department, a total 576 two wheeler riders lost their lives in 2012.
"This means two persons who die every day in road accidents are two wheeler riders. In India, during the year 2012, a total number of 35,767 two wheeler riders, many of them women, were killed in road accidents.
"The main risk factor for motorised two wheeler users is non-use of helmets and head injuries are the major cause of death, injury and disability among them," the Transport department officials said.
However, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee and other Sikh organizations had opposed the transport department`s move and urged the LG to review the order in light of their religious sentiments.
"As per the Sikh tenets wearing of caps is not permitted in Sikh religion. Some Sikh women who are Amritdari and have been baptised wear turbans or headgears and it is not possible for them to wear helmets," said Manjit Singh, President of DSGMC in his letter to Najeeb Jung.