Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung has cleared a Transport department proposal to make wearing of helmets mandatory for woman pillion riders.
The department has now sought permission from the Election Commission of India to issue a gazette notification to invite public suggestions and objections in this matter.
In January, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a PIL seeking direction to the government to make helmets mandatory for pillion riders, putting the onus of taking a decision on the government.
The government has, however, been delaying the decision due to the opposition from the Sikh community. “Once passed, this rule will be applicable to all communities,” a government official said.
“The Lt-Governor has already cleared the proposal. We have sent it to the ECI as we want to issue the notification before May 16 while the model code of conduct is still applicable. If we get a go-ahead, we will seek suggestions and objections from the public and then make the necessary amendments to the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules,” a Transport official said.
Comments from the public would be taken into consideration before the rules are amended. The comments will be taken in for 30 days after the notification is published.
“This move was prompted due to the increase in the number of accidents in the city. Two riders die everyday on Delhi roads and helmets will help go a long way in saving lives,” an official said.
“We had sent a proposal to make helmets mandatory for everyone including women. We are glad that this proposal has been accepted and are awaiting for the notification to initiate relevant action,” Special CP (traffic), Taj Hassan, said.
Once this rule is passed, a woman pillion rider not wearing a helmet will be fined Rs 100.
According to figures released by Delhi traffic police, the number of women who died because they were not wearing helmets has gone up to 63 in 2013, against 42 in 2012. Of the 63, only six women were riding the two-wheelers, the rest (57) were pillion riders.