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Chandigarh

Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 1:47 AM; last updated: Jul 8, 2018, 2:19 AM (IST)

It’s official, helmet must for women in Chandigarh

UT issues notification; only Sikhs with turban exempted

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6

Finally, the UT Administration on Friday issued a formal notification making the helmet compulsory for all women, including Sikhs, driving two-wheelers or riding pillion in the city. However, Sikh women wearing a turban will be exempted.

The development assumes significance as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had taken suo motu notice of the issue of safety of women, including Sikhs, while driving or riding pillion on two-wheelers of any class or description and exemption given to them from wearing the headgear under the Motor Vehicles Rules.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the Chandigarh Administration, while considering the aspect of safety of women, including Sikhs not wearing a turban, particularly in view of the fatalities occurring in road accidents, on Friday issued a notification amending the existing rules.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 129 read with provisions of Clause (41) of Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, is pleased to amend Rule 193 of the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1990, as follows: In the said Rule, the words ‘or a woman’ are hereby substituted by the word ‘a Sikh person (including woman) wearing a turban’, with immediate effect,” reads the notification issued by UT Transport Secretary BL Sharma.

In April, the UT Administration had issued a draft notification, inviting objections and suggestions from city residents likely to be affected by this amendment, within 30 days.

“After going through the objections and suggestions received, we have issued a formal notification making the helmet compulsory for all two-wheeler women drivers and pillion riders (except Sikhs wearing a turban) in the city,” a top UT functionary told The Tribune here on Friday.

He said, “Since the safety of women on roads is our priority, the Chandigarh Administration has made changes to the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1990”.


What the notification says

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 129 read with provisions of Clause (41) of Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, is pleased to amend Rule 193 of the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1990, as follows: In the said Rule, the words ‘or a woman’ are hereby substituted by the word ‘a Sikh person (including woman) wearing a turban’, with immediate effect,” reads the notification issued by UT Transport Secretary BL Sharma.

The flashback

When the High Court made the helmet compulsory while issuing a slew of directions on traffic regulations and road safety in July 1998, the direction led to vociferous protests by Sikh women, who had marched up to the High Court soon after the judgment.  Following the protests, the UT Administration had exempted all women riders from wearing the helmet.

High Court rap

Is there any difference between the skull of a male and a female? This was what the Punjab and Haryana High Court had asked the Chandigarh Administration while questioning the UT authorities on how they had exempted women from wearing the headgear while driving or riding pillion on a two-wheeler.

Taking suo motu cognisance of women riding away from the law by not wearing safety helmets, resulting in an increasing number of fatalities and injuries to bare-headed women two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders, the High Court had sought a status report from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana on wearing of helmets by two-wheeler riders.

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