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A new helmet standard has been proposed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). As per the new standard, two-wheeler helmets will become lighter next year. The new move is aimed to curb the sales of unsafe non-standard helmets, widely prevailing in the country. In fact, the sale of non-standard helmets will be considered as an offence.
Currently, the recommended weight of two-wheeler helmets stands at 1.5kg. As per the new standard, this figure will come down to just 1.2kg. The new standard will come in effect from 15th January 2019.
The new norm also suggests that helmets should have proper ventilation holes. Many riders refuse to wear helmets blaming the lack of ventilation inside.
Rajeev Kapur, President of ISI Helmets Manufacturers Association shared, "This (new) step will help bring down the number of fatal road accidents and will curb malpractices and the sale of spurious and fake roadside helmets."
Another BIS official added, "The new range of helmets will protect both the skull and face. That is the reason why we have not assigned any standard for cap-like helmets as done in Vietnam and Thailand."
Road accidents, especially those involving two-wheelers, cause a lot of deaths in the country, every year. A majority of them are caused by riders without helmets. So in addition to making helmets mandatory, the Ministry of Road Transport is forced to make quality standards for two-wheeler helmets.
While the new range of ISI helmets offers much more comfort due to their lower weight, BIS has not shared the quality tests which each helmet will undergo. Being lighter, the new helmets should be made of good quality materials to resist impacts.
Thoughts On The New Helmet Standards
Many helmet brands which comply to foreign standards such as DOT, ECE and SNELL are available on the market. While some of them weigh 1.5kg or more, certain foreign helmets weigh as less as 1kg. But these are more premium helmets made of carbon-fibre or other lightweight materials. This makes one wonder about the quality and pricing of the new 1.2-kilogram ISI helmets.