Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) has decided to withdraw its crackdown on all non-ISI helmets, which was scheduled to begin on February 1 onwards. The rollback decision as taken after the clarification from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to BTP that mentioned, "there was no way a helmet can be declared safe to use or not, just by a glance."
The BIS, in a letter to R Hitendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic), clarified that there is no way to ascertain if a helmet meets the prescribed safety standards merely by visual examination.
There was no clarity over the usage of the internationally certified (DoT, ECE, SNELL and others) helmets once the drive against non-ISI helmets gets initiated. Though these helmets are much safer than the ISI-marked helmets, cops were reluctant to allow riders using such helmets.
After a social media outcry, R Hitendra had decided to review the decision and tweeted on January 23 that till further clarification, there will be no action against internationally certified helmets.
BTP will write to the transport department seeking clarification about the non ISI helmets in view of the claims from the buyers of imported helmets are better than ISI. Till they reply BTP will not take any action on them.— R Hithendra, IPS. (@AddlCPTraffic) January 23, 2018
The latest clarification from BIS comes as a big relief for all bikers using imported helmets in the city. However, the U-turn of BTP will see the usage of substandard half and plastic bowl look alike helmets among the bikers.
Last week, the Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic) confirmed that the BTP will ask clarification from BIS over the usage of non-ISI internationally-certified helmets. "BTP will write to the transport department seeking clarification about the non-ISI helmets in view of the claims from the buyers of imported helmets are better than ISI."
Meanwhile, the helmets certified by ECE RR22-05 are already a part of many global racing events approved by Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme— the topmost authority for bike racing with represents over 100 national biking federations. Leading headgear manufacturers like ARAI, AGV, BELL, Shoei and many more have also been a part of MotoGP for a long time now.
The recent announcement by the BTP also invited major criticism from netizens who were offended by the earlier statement of the traffic police over banning the usage of non-ISI helmets. Here are a few tweets:
So Sir, without properly assessing the methods on how to identify ISI/non ISI helmets and penalizing , you went ahead with the initiative. And offered an opportunity for the people of Bangalore to doubt if BTP is a bunch of jokers !!— Krishnaraja Marakini (@krmarakini) January 28, 2018
Need to scientifically assess the helmets. Non ISI does not mean they are inferior.— Salil Manekar (@SalilManekar) January 26, 2018
Do we have any statistics on how many people died in 2 wheeler accidents , died of 1. With helmets 2. Without helmets 3. With non ISI helmets? That would be interesting to see.— Girish Venki (@venki_girish) January 23, 2018
its a good initiation to eliminate cap helments and to implement ISI helmets.. but on the imported helmets, it need not be a mandatory to avoid it. Rather it should be a ban on fake ISI and non quality helments that is going to put the common people life in risk...— JaGan (@JaganathanVP) January 23, 2018