Riders in Kerala irked over MVD’s order against helmet cameras

Professional riders claim that helmets with cameras will never cause any safety hazard.

Professional riders claim that helmets with cameras will never cause any safety hazard. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A section of professional and amateur riders in the State has begun a social media campaign flaying the decision of the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) to slap fines on those riding motorbikes with helmet-mounted cameras. Many of them find it an attempt to protect enforcement personnel who allegedly harass motorists on roads.

Riders’ forums with a pan-India network claim that the “thoughtless rule” by the MVD is a direct violation of Section 33(2) of the Kerala Police Act that states that “no police officer shall prevent any member of the public from lawfully making any audio or video or electronic record of any police action or activity carried out in a public or private place.”

A professional rider engaged in fighting the order says that there are even offers from his friends in other States to donate funds to fight the case of “Kerala’s plight” in court. “There are lawyers, police officers, and media persons who make use of helmet-mounted cameras for professional purposes. We are sure that they will help uncover the intention behind the move,” he says.

K.D. Solomon, a professional rider and YouTuber who has been using helmet-mounted cameras for over five years, says the new rule will naturally prompt many to fix body-worn cameras on their chest to bypass it. “Such an unhealthy change will lead to a more dangerous situation that could result in fatal chest injuries,” he adds.

Mr. Solomon, who was one of the two professional riders selected from India last year to take part in an international riders’ meet in Austria, says Kerala can never go ahead with such an “anti-rider rule”. “Many riders are scared to question it as they fear hostile action by enforcement agencies,” he adds.

Meanwhile, a senior MVD official claimed that the rule was misinterpreted by many for strange reasons. “Drilling a helmet to fix camera will always affect its safety features. The order was issued after studying the nature of various motorbike accidents and deaths in Kerala,” he told The Hindu

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Printable version | Sep 10, 2022 8:28:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/riders-in-kerala-irked-over-mvds-order-against-helmet-cameras/article65746735.ece