Rider Safety is the Main Issue
The authorities have banned the sale of imported helmets in the country. The reason being cited is that the Chinese are dumping helmets of a poor quality in our country. That is a valid reason to ban non-ISI helmets. However, we cannot ignore the fact that some of the Indian ISI-certified helmets are pathetic — they are more likely to cause harm than offer protection to the rider. The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) does not allow ISI-certified helmets for racing. The helmets that are allowed for racing in India are ECE Snell and Jis.
Under the new rule, it is illegal to sell imported helmets. Anyone caught selling imported helmets can be arrested. In such a scenario what does one do if one wants to buy a helmet for motorcycle racing? This new rule seems to be taking us back to the time when perforce we had to import everything. One solution is to ban the import of helmets that cost less than Rs 5,000. This will filter out the Chinese helmets of a cheap quality and also protect the Indian helmet manufacturers from cheap imports. The import of expensive helmets will not affect the Indian manufacturers, for a majority of Indian helmets are priced below Rs 5,000. This will also allow people to better protect themselves.
The fuel prices have been showing a northward trend for the past couple of months and, finally, there was a reduction of Rs 5 which is miniscule compared to what we pay for petrol.
With everybody wanting to jump on the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon, we get an e-mail every day saying a new start-up is making an e-bike or e-scooter. It is understandable if an existing two-wheeler manufacturer forays into the manufacture of an electric bike or an e-scooter; however, an entity that has no prior experience of bike or scooter manufacture spells trouble. What this will result into is we will be left with a huge pile of junk.
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