The Ministry of Road Transport And Highways has placed a stern blanket ban on manufacturing and sales of non-ISI helmets. Helmets with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification will be the only helmets sold in the country. This regulation is in effect from 1st June, 2021. To deter people from flouting these norms, non compliers (anyone who wears, manufactures, stores or imports non-ISI helmets) can be penalised with fines up to 5 lakhs or even imprisonment.
India is amongst the top few two wheeler markets. However, as per the government, about 3 lakh people are prays to serious road accidents, annually. The number has doubled in one decade. The reason behind this ban is to make sure low quality two wheeler helmets are not being used to avoid challans and safety takes forefront.
This is expected to support the major motto of reducing the mortality rate from these accidents.
Even for expensive and imported helmets that have DOT, ECE and shell certifications (that are deemed to be even better quality than the ISI approved helmets), an ISI approval is mandatory. Any company that wants to sell in India will have to legally represent themselves to BIS and get the quality tested, failing which the manufacturing and using these helmets may be deemed illegal. While this is not an irrational ask, it will require more logistics, effort, time and money for the companies to set this process in place.
Another way to look at it is that this will eventually support the ‘Make In India’ initiative. This means, we will boost employment in the market. Few states have also made it mandatory to provide two helmets with the sale of each two wheeler.
Well, either the international companies will adhere to the guidelines and get the product certified under ISI or Indian brands will have to step up the game to manufacture even better quality products with enough variety as foreign brands bring us. This will revolutionaries the market for the next decade.