New Delhi: Wearing helmets for women riding pillion on a two-wheeler is now mandatory in the national Capital, though Sikh women have been exempted, with the Government amending the rule 115 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993.
"Wearing helmets is now mandatory for women pillion riders in Delhi. However, Sikh women have been keept out of its ambit on religious grounds," said a top transport department official.
Lt Governor Najeeb Jung had also given the go ahead to this proposal making helmets mandatory for all women pillion riders, except Sikh women.
According to transport department, In Delhi alone, a total number of 576 two wheeler riders lost their lives during 2012. The main risk factor for motorized 2 wheeler users is the non-use of helmets and head injuries are the major cause of death, injury and disability among them. Many of these head injuries could have been prevented or their severity reduced through the use of helmets.
"As per the directions of LG, wearing helmets will not be mandatory for Sikh women riding pillion on two-wheelers. Delhi Government has amendended the rule 115 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993," the official said.
In 1998, the Delhi government had made wearing helmets mandatory for all pillion riders, but following objections from the people belonging to Sikh community, it had to amend the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993 in June 1999 and made it optional for women.
After getting recommendations from the traffic police, Delhi Commission of Women and NGOs working for road safety, Transport department decided to make helmets mandatory for women pillion riders.
On May 2 this year, transport department had invited suggestions from the general public on this issue after getting goahead from L-G.
During suggestions, some Muslim groups also demanded the same relief for burqa-clad women riding pillion in the capital.