New Delhi: Next year onwards, all children under the age of four riding pillion on two-wheelers must wear a safety harness and helmet, said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The ministry issued a notification to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, thus making the two safety equipment pieces mandatory for children between the ages of nine months and four years.
The notification also mentioned that the speed limit for two-wheelers with children on them will have to be a maximum of 40km per hour. While travelling in a car, a child under 14 has to be secured by a seatbelt or a child restraint system. The notification also said the safety harness will have a vest worn by a child, and a strap worn by the driver. However, the new rules will come into effect after one year from notification, which means they will be implemented from February 15, 2023.
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“This has been notified under Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which mandates that the central government may, by rules, provide for measures for the safety of children below four years of age, riding or being carried on a motorcycle. Further, it specifies use of a safety harness and crash helmet. It also restricts the speed of such motor cycles to 40 kmph,” the ministry said.
“Safety harness is a vest to be worn by the child, which shall be adjustable, with a pair of straps attached to the vest and forming shoulder loops to be worn by the driver. This way, the upper torso of the child is securely attached to the driver,” the ministry further said.
According to government data (Vaahan dashboard), at least 75 percent of the 277.1 million vehicles in India are two-wheelers. In Delhi alone, of the 13 million registered vehicles, at least 7.3 million are two-wheelers. Any violation of the rules will result in a fine of Rs 1,000 and a suspension of driver’s licence for three months. Over 2,700 children below the age of 14 and over 14,000 children below the age of 18 died in road accidents in 2020.