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The Transport Department at Kerala has asked the State Transport Commissioner and State Police Chief to ensure all riders, including pillion riders traveling on two-wheelers in the state wear helmets at all times. He also asked for the offices to ensure that drivers and passengers in four-wheelers wear seat belts, as directed by the Supreme Court.
In a letter addressed to the State Transport Commissioner and the State Police Chief, K R Jyothilal, Principal Secretary, Transport, said that seat belt and helmet rules were not fully implemented within the state.
Mr Jyothilal said, "No insurance company will be able to pay any compensation to those who violate the above rules, as the Supreme Court has made it very clear that these are violations of the Rules of the Road."
The Principal Secretary also asked the heads of both the law enforcing agencies to 'strictly check' the violations and slip ups by the enforcement team of the Motor Vehicles Department and the police.
The directive comes at a time when the road accidents involving two and four-wheelers are on the rise at an alarming rate in the State. 2018 saw 868 car occupants and 1,382 motorcyclists lose their lives. A total of 4,303 deaths, 45,458 injuries, and 40,181 road accidents were reported.
The new directive from the Transport Department, will hold the Motor Vehicles Department and the local police responsible for implementing a 2015 directive by the High Court of Kerala ordering that riders and pillion passengers will have to wear helmets; and seat belts were to be worn by all passengers if present in the four-wheeler.
The court verdict was on an appeal given by the state against the petition of an activist, Basil Attippetty, who was seeking mandatory use of helmets by both people on a two-wheeler, as per Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
Thoughts About Mandatory Use Of Helmets For Riders And Pillion Passengers In Kerala
Well, Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 already states that both people on a two-wheeler have to wear helmets. The law is applicable across the country without exception. While we're happy that the State of Kerala has taken the initiative to implement the law, we're not very impressed. The law has always been there, implementing it has not. However, stating that insurance companies won't be able to pay any compensation is absolutely genius! This might work!