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Riding your motorcycle while wearing chappals, slippers or flip-flops can attract a fine of Rs 1,000. This rule existed under the motor vehicle regulations even before the new rules came into play last week. Now though, it is being enforced, quite strictly.
The Motor Vehicle Amendment Act was implemented in India since 01 September, 2019. Under the new act, the penalties for traffic rule violations have been increased by a huge margin. For major offences like driving under the influence of alcohol, the penalty stands at Rs 10,000.
For smaller offences like riding without helmet, the penalty stands at Rs 1,000. The rule that mandates motorcycle riders to be wearing shoes is now being enforced with a penalty of Rs 1,000.
The logic behind this rule is that, the rider's legs may slip due to the low grip levels provided by such footwear. Chappals, slippers and flip-flops also lead to slippage of the foot while shifting gears, and hence is unsafe according to the government.
In most developed countries, motorcycles are ridden while wearing proper riding gear. If not the entire gamut of riding gear involving a jacket, pants, shoes, gloves, etc, riders make sure to wear at least some shoes and full clothing.
In India though, it is quite the contrary. Motorcycle riders can be found riding with a t-shirt, slippers, shorts and sometimes even a lungi. Yes, these riders prioritise their comfort. However, the law - for good reason - does not allow you to do that anymore.
Under the new Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019, motorists will be fined Rs 1,000 for riding a geared motorcycle while wearing chappals, slippers, sandals or flip-flops. Repeat offenders could even be put behind bars for up to 15 days.
This law has not been implemented in most places across India, but those living in urban areas should be careful to ride only while wearing shoes since they can be fined for not doing so. The government hasn't specified the type of shoes that motorists should use.
Hence we can conclude that everything from the small sneakers to the big riding boots with full protection are all legal. Shifting gears with slippers is risky business, especially on motorcycles that require the foot to slide under the gear lever and lift it up.
Adding to this is the fact that all the flesh on the rider's foot will get peeled off if he crashes while riding with chappals. Having even a basic shoe on will help immensely in shifting gears and will provide at least the basic protection in the event of a crash.
Thoughts On Motorcycle Riders Paying A Fine Of Rs 1,000 For Riding While Wearing Slippers
Several motorcycle riders who care concerned about their safety, invest thousands of rupees in buying riding boots with proper protection to keep their legs safe in the event of a crash. On the other end of the spectrum, we also see riders who ride with a flimsy little slipper. It is obvious that these riders do not know what a small fall at speeds as low as 20km/h also can do to their feet.
While it is impossible to explain the importance of protective riding gear to everyone, we can certainly hope that this rule being implemented now will get motorcycle riders to wear shoes. Well, shoes are better than slippers. However, if you have a choice, always wear protective riding gear.