The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) in notification issued on February 15, 2022, has amended Rule 138 of CMVR, 1989, which has prescribed norms related to safety measures for children below four years of age, riding or being carried on a motorcycle.
As per the notification, under Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which mandates that the central government may, by rules, provide for measures for the safety of children below four years of age, riding or being carried on a motorcycle. Furthermore, it specifies use of a safety harness, crash helmet and also restricts speed of such motorcycles to 40kph.
The ministry states that a safety harness is a vest to be worn by the child, which shall be adjustable, with a pair of straps attached to the vest and forming shoulder loops to be worn by the driver. This way, the upper torso of the child is securely attached to the driver. A feature by which this is achieved is by attaching the straps to the back of the vest and crossing the straps over the vest so that two large crossing-over loops are formed that pass between the legs of the passenger and child sits on the seat of the two-wheeler.
The protective gear including safety harness shall meet the following requirements till such time the specifications are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 (11 of 2016).
Specifications of Safety harness –
- Lightweight, adjustable, waterproof and durable
- Heavy nylon/ multi-filament nylon material with high density foam with sufficient cushioning
- It shall be designed to hold weight upto 30kg
Furthermore, the rider shall ensure that the child pillion passenger aged between nine months and four years must wear a crash helmet which fits his/her head or wear bicycle helmet complying with [ASTM 1447]/ [European (CEN)BS EN 1080/BS EN 1078] till such time that the specifications are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 (11 of 2016). Lastly, the speed of the motorcycle with the child upto age four years being carried as a pillion, shall not be more than 40kph.
The rules will come into force after one year from the date of publication of the Central Motor Vehicles (Second Amendment) Rules, 2022.