Chandigarh: As per media reports Chandigarh administration has proposed to make wearing of helmet mandatory for all women, except “Sikh woman wearing a turban (keski)”.
The move comes in the wake of Punjab and Haryana high court asking the administration to consider measures to contain road fatalities involving two-wheeler women riders.
According to Hindustan times, the UT has proposed amendment in Rule 193 of the Chandigarh Motor Vehicle Rules, 1990, and has invited objections and suggestions. At present, UT exempts all women from wearing helmets besides Sikh men wearing turban.
UT transport director Amit Talwar said the amendment has been proposed for the safety of women, including Sikh women who are not wearing turban.
It was in December 2017 that the HC initiated suo motu proceedings on rising number of road fatalities involving women.
The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, mandates headgear for all who are riding two-wheelers, but permits state governments to make relaxation for some categories. It is under this rule that the UT has exempted all women. However, Punjab and Haryana has excluded only Sikh women, though it has not been clarified how they will be identified.
It was in 1998 that the HC had restricted the exemption only to “Sikhs wearing turban while driving”. However, it met with resistance from Sikh bodies and city witnessed protests. Sikh bodies had argued that their tenets forbid the wearing of any cap. In 2004, the Supreme Court too ruled that the state had powers to relax rules in a particular area. Following this, Chandigarh relaxed the norms and exempted all women.