Written by Sapna Saini and Riddhi Dhawan
The sale of helmets has increased in the last three days soon after the union territory Administrator V P Singh Badnore gave his nod to the proposal making the safety gear mandatory for women as well.
Ajay Kumar, owner of a helmet showroom in Sector 21, said the sale in the past few days has gone up by 50 per cent. “Majority of customers are women. Our helmets are all ISI (Indian Standards Institution) certified. The price range is Rs 850 to Rs 1,500. The women are preferring open-face helmets of bright colours, which maximise safety during night hours,” said Kumar.
The price of a helmet, especially made for women, however, ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 500 at roadside stalls. Ashish Kumar, a roadside vendor at the dividing road of Sector 20/21, also said his sale has increased in the last few days. “Around 50 women have purchased helmets from me in the last two days. I offer the helmets between Rs 200 and Rs 500.”
Asked about the ISI standard of the helmets, Kumar maintained he received the supply from the manufacturing company directly. “We received these helmets bearing the ISI marks.”
Ajay Kumar, who runs a showroom in Sector 21, however, said that people should not purchase helmets from the roadside vendors because they are only authorised to repair the damaged safety gears.
A senior UT police officer said manufacturers claim that their helmets will provide optimal protection to the riders, but only an ISI mark will ensure the same. “An ISI logo on the helmet assures that it complies with the quality standards defined by the institution. Though an ISI-mark helmet is little costlier than the ordinary one, it is advised that one must go for the former in order to have a proper protection,” said the officer.
Satish Singla, a helmet seller in Sector 38 market, said apart from the customers from Chandigarh, footfall of women from Mohali has also risen. “Though wearing helmet for women is not mandatory in Punjab, many come to Chandigarh daily for study, jobs or other works,” said Singla.
On Friday, the Chandigarh Administration had issued a notice making helmets mandatory for women. According to the new rule, only a Sikh man or woman, wearing turban, will be exempted.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Shashank Anand, however, said that challans will not be issued for violating the rule with immediate effect.