The government wants to introduce safety measures for child passengers riding pillion on motorcycles and in this regard, it has come up with a draft notification that has mandated safety harness for carrying a child between the age of 0 and four years.
“The driver of a motorcycle shall ensure the following safety measures while carrying a child between the age of 0 and 4 years, on the vehicle as a pillion, namely – for children below four years, safety harness shall be used for attaching the child to the driver of the motorcycle,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in the notification.
Safety harness is a vest to be worn by the child, which should 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, it explained.
The protective gear including safety harness should also meet some requirements as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016 – it should be light weight, adjustable, waterproof and durable, made of heavy nylon/multifilament nylon material with high density foam, and designed to hold weight up to 30 kg.
Also, the driver should ensure that the child pillion passenger aged between nine months and four years must wear his/her own crash helmet which fits his/her head or wear bicycle helmet till such time that the specifications are prescribed by the BIS.
“The speed of the motorcycle with the child upto age four years being carried as a pillion, shall not be more than 40 kmph,” it added.
The MoRTH has also asked for objections and suggestions to these draft rules, if any.