It is mandatory to install safety accessories (hand grips and saree guard) for pillion riders: Supreme Court

Dated: June 20, 2018

In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court has made it mandatory for all the two-wheeler manufacturers to install safety accessories in the vehicles like saree-guard and hand grips. Looking at the number of deaths in the accidents around the country, the court has taken measures to provide safety for the pillion riders. Rule- 123 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules provides mandatory safety measures for the pillion drivers. According to the said rule, manufacturers must take certain measures before the vehicles are rolled out of the factories. The vehicles must have a permanent hand grip on the side or behind the driver’s seat and a footrest as well as a protection device covering not less than half of the rear wheel to prevent the clothes of the person sitting on the pillion from being entangled in the wheel.

It must be taken into consideration that the Madhya Pradesh High Court had banned registration of vehicles without such accessories back in 2008, but it was given an interim stay by the Supreme Court a week later as the order was challenged by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). However, the said petition was dismissed by the Apex court last week as it found no merit in the same.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court had observed in its order that the hand grip must be so fitted in the vehicle that it should be convenient for the pillion rider to make use of it in normal sitting position irrespective of whether he/ she was sitting sideways or cross-saddled behind the rider. 
As per the statistics, at least one-third people killed in road accidents are two-wheeler riders and the number is increasing continuously.

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