Headgear made mandatory for children above four years

Safety measures for children travelling on motorcycles

Published - August 13, 2019 07:32 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar

In a significant move, protective headgear of prescribed standards has been made mandatory for children above four years while travelling on a motorcycle.

The safety measures for the children travelling on motorcycles have been included in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 that is passed by Parliament.

With the President of India giving assent to the Act, that has amended the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, on August 9, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice has notified the Act in the Gazette of India.

To make the protective headgear mandatory for children, Section 129 of the principal Act has been replaced in the Act as “Every person, above four years of age, driving or riding or being carried on a motorcycle of any class or description shall, while in public place wear protective headgear conforming to such standards as may be prescribed by the Central government”.


Only Sikhs wearing turban have been exempted from the provision of Section 129 that makes helmets mandatory for all riders of motorcycles above four years of age.

The Act says the Central government may by rules provide for measures for the safety of the children below four years of age riding or being carried on a motorcycle.

With this amendment, children from the Kindergarten classes will have to wear the protective headgear if they have to travel on motorcycles.

At present, only protective headgear for children riding cycles are available in the market across the country. The decision of the Union government will see the markets flooded with protective headgear for children. For the parents, carrying headgear of children is another issue.

Road safety expert and former director of the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac) T. Elangovan has called for providing a breathing space till the markets get ready with the protective headgear of prescribed standards. The parents should be made aware of the need of protective gear for children.

“Pillion riders, including children, are more prone to the injuries than the rider of the motorcycle in case the vehicle collides. Helmets of prescribed standards fastened to the head by straps or other fastenings can avoid head injuries,” Mr. Elangovan told The Hindu .

The former Natpac director says law enforcers should enforce rules to restrict travellers to two on a motorcycle. “Often, the children hold on to the rider and the chances of thrown off are high. If at all children are allowed as a pillion riders, they should be of 13 years and above.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.