Kundapur/Udupi: Mad rush for helmets - Police insist on ISI mark, resent exorbitant pricing

Silvester D'Souza/Harshini Brahmavar
Pics: Umesh Marpalli
Daijiworld Media Network - Kundapur/Udupi (SP)

Kundapur/Udupi, Jan 23: The Supreme Court directive to make wearing of helmets compulsory everywhere for two-wheeler riders and pillion riders has finally been implemented in the state. The earlier directive, as per which it was made mandatory for two-wheeler riders alone to wear helmets within the limits of city corporations in the state, has been expanded to cover pillion riders and extended to the entire state including rural places.

The police personnel are gearing up to enforce this rule strictly in both Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts from February 1 onward. They have been spreading awareness about this new rule and also the need to wear helmets to safeguard the lives of those who travel by two-wheelers.



Retail helmet dealers are having a heyday in the midst of rush for buying helmets at the last minute. During the last some days, a number of helmet sales centres have raised their heads across the town and other places. At any point of the day one can witness a crowd around these centres, selecting a helmet based on their interests, style, and financial impact. Such crowds were last seen in front of banks when a campaign to open savings bank accounts was launched by Narendra Modi government, when Aadhar cards were intorudced, and again in front of Nemmadi Kendras of the state government.

There are however allegations that people involved with sales of helmets have been cheating the gullible buyers, taking advantage of their helplessness. Some say that helmets are being sold two to three times their original prices, and many a time, helmets without ISI mark are also sold at high prices. Taking cue from these developments, policemen of the taluk led by town circle inspector, P M Diwakar, and traffic police station house officer, Jayanna, have undertaken the task of creating awareness about buying helmets.

The police, as part of this campaign, visited several helmets sales centres on Wednesday evening, and checked whether the helmets bore ISI marks. They instructed the concerned not to jack up helmet prices unreasonably, and warned of taking action against sellers if they receive complaints about sale of helmets without ISI mark and quoting unreasonable prices. They also said that the policemen will impose fine on two-wheeler riders wearing helmets, if the helmets do not have ISI mark.

Rumours making the rounds here also say that fake ISI marks are being embossed on even those helmets which do not conform to the standards prescribed. It need not come as a surprise, in view of these developments, if in future, policemen seek to check helmet purchase bills too in addition to vehicle registration certificate, driving licence, pollution control certificate, and valid insurance policy.



The traffic police in Udupi is all geared up to enforce the rule from February 1. "The grace period for the enforcement of mandatory helmet has been extended till January 31. So far, the traffic police have not fined any pillion rider without wearing helmets. The cops are creating awareness among bike riders at main junctions such as Kalsanka, Bannanje, Karavali, Diana and other places. From February 1, it will be mandatory for both rider and pillion to wear helmet or face the fine in any cases of violation." said SP Annamalai.

In Udupi, two-wheeler riders are facing an acute shortage of helmets, despite new shops mushrooming in different parts of the city. As per an estimate, around 1,500 helmets are being sold per day.

More than ten helmet outlets, including roadside vendors, have been set up to provide helmets to customers in and around the city.

Reagan D’Silva, owner of St Antony Cycle Work says, "From the last two to three days, we are getting huge demand for helmets. The customers are quiet confused about which brand of ISI marked helmet they should purchase.

"At present three types of helmet are found in the market, viz full face, half face and open face. Generally, the ladies prefer half face or open face. But the demand for the full faced helmets is more," he added.

"The price for a branded ISI helmets varies from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000. People generally buy cheap helmets costing Rs 500. Non-ISI helmets are also available in the market and their prices start from Rs 200, but they are not in demand.

"Street vendors sell ordinary helmets at a low price, but it does not affect our business because customers prefer branded products. We focus on service and the quality of the product," he said.

"Making even children wear helmets compulsorily is not right. The biggest problem is the non-availability of sizes for them. We are stocking up helmets on a daily basis to cater to the needs of customers," said Reagan.


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Comment on this article

  • Ganesh Pai, Shirva

    Tue, Feb 02 2016

    Helmets are useless in real accidents. Example those run over by Salman khan would have died even if they had helmets on when sleeping on the pavement. Anyway, it is better for a person to die in an accident than to just be able to save his head and end up in coma in a hospital where he will be a cabbage for the rest of his life blowing up his life time savings and bringing his family to poverty. The only people benefiting from this hell-met rule is police, helmet makers and hospitals...God save the common man. Hope either the opposition or AAP take up this issue and make it an election issue and overturn this rule.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Gomez D'souza, Belman

    Tue, Feb 02 2016

    While the move of the govt and SC to safeguard lives of general public is welcome, it is the intention behind the move that is doubtful. More people die in drunken driving incidents than in helmetless accidents, salman khan case being an example. So, since both the SC and Govt are so keen on safeguarding lives of common folk, I would love to request them to also implement complete prohibition on liquors of all brands since these only destroy lives and have virtually no positive use. But will they act in this direction..? Never, bcoz it will not bring in moolah. Secondly, even assuming the govt is genuine, why cant they just seize the vehicle of the person without helmet and force him to bring a helmet and then only release the vehicle instead of imposing fines. Fines are a sure method of corruption. Most policemen and public would rather prefer to take a cut out of the fine.....When will we get out of this socialist raj...?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • MAngalore, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 24 2016

    If helmet is for safety then it should be only ISI marked and full face cover,police should also not allow half face,and fancy helemts

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • joe Gonsalves, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 24 2016

    Here is a situation where every attempt is being made by The Police to ensure safety of two wheeler drivers and the pillion passengers.

    The Traffic Wardens Squad too is playing their role to draw the attention of the public with regard to rules which will be strictly enforced from February 1st.

    The other defaults are carting little children on the two wheelers without any protection. That apart it is a common cite to see three or four riding two wheelers.

    All concerned will go into action very soon. In the meantime as an awareness warning, The City Traffic squad is drawing the attention of two wheeler drivers with regard to the rule which will come into force in February.

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Tom Cat, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    90% of helmets worn by police do not have ISI marks. Set your house in order first.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mak, Ksa

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    The price of helmets ranging from 100 to 1000K doesn't seem good in quality. Just to avoid police fine two wheeler riders rushing to stores. Maximum helmets have fake ISI mark and it can be nktice in first impression easily. Anyways, police department have taken huge fines into their account for not wearing helmets.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra, UDUPI/NEW YORK,USA.

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    The using of helmets will save many lives. At the same time, there will be many fake and sub-standard helmets sold in the market to make some fast buck.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • mahesh, udupi

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    It's a good decision to wear helmet but at the same time what about the rash driving of express bus and the sound pollution created by the bus with big horn no traffic police look after that.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anti Corrupt, Mangalore, Kuwait

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Soon we will hear of a big helmet scam...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rose, mlore / dubai

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    hell met bhagyaaaaaaaa...

    nana cycled popunakleg ovv bhagya barpunda ?? devre gathi/////.........

    DisAgree [9] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • marol, udupi

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Helmet may protect in some circumstances. What is important is driving carefully following the rules. What is the benefit if rider and pillion wear helmet and drive recklessly??? Making pillion to ware helmet gives rise to several inconveniences such as place to keep it or protecting it, chance for thieves to steal it, additional burden. All drivers while driving must keep their cool, patience. Irritation competition and hurry are the most important causes of accidents. Speed, rash driving kills. Protective measures such as helmets are for emergency situations like engine break downs. To protect from accidents each driver should follow rules, limit the speed, maintain the vehicle, respect the other driver.
    Thank you and God bless each and every one of us.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dylan, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    I really cannot understand why helmet for the pillion, if there is a kid does the kid need a helmet ? I do not think that helmet is a protection for the pillion and also the rider, there are instances were rider with a helmet is killed in a accident. Recently we had such a incident in Bangalore ( Shanthinagar bus terminus) the rider is killed with a helmet when he was hit by a BMTC bus. In cars, buses etc people die so one day Supreme court will direct the drivers and passengers traveling in cars and buses to use helmets. In fact the supreme court should direct the local authorities to see to it that roads are free from potholes and some times even craters, which causes most of the accidents. Good days for the helmet manufactures and dealers to make some good money. I mean Achche din for them. Guys, take care two wheeler riders do not speed then you can be safe.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ananth, Udupi

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Next year we can see lot of people with bald heads and empty barber shops.
    Wearing helmet is good and from time to time awareness should be created among the two wheeler owners by the officials. Government should not force one to wear this, that etc., Most of the accidents are taking place due to lack of proper sign boards near the road work area, diversions and stray animals,notorious pot holes.Nobody is taking steps to improve these basic necessities.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Dear Ananth, Udupi,

    Not very to very people have died in the pot Holes. Of course a very few to very few have died due to pot holes.

    Where as through accidents without helmets many to many have died due to Head Injury.

    Of course government cannot protect each and every individuals. It can only guide and enforce through law for the safety of individuals.

    In India people will go to bed without a meal and sleep hungry in her or his quest to buy Gold / Love for Gold.

    They hesitate to build a toilet and to buy a helmet for the safety of self protection.

    However costly mobile with net sim matters to them much more than their own safety.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Can ISI mark save your HEAD ...

    DisAgree [7] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Sar salaamath hai toh pagdi hazaar!!
    (If your head is intact, you can have a thousand turbans)

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Quality of the Helmet will save the riders Head from injury.

    Wearing of Helmet is not for the sake of wearing but wearing for the sake of self protection.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    Will helmet will protect us from truck run over? It looks like supporting helmet companies nothing else. Achche Din for helmet dealers!! Fill those potholes first....

    DisAgree [6] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    If separate divider to ride for two wheelers on highway that will be much more safety for all to avoid heavy vehicle to run over.
    Helmet can prevent at least save some of lives.

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aravind, Blr

    Sat, Jan 23 2016

    First of all, two wheelers and autos are not intercity commute vehicles to be used on highways. These days, people are routinely using two wheelers for commute between different towns. Trucks mowing down two wheelers is less in towns as compared to that happening in highways.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Kundapur/Udupi: Mad rush for helmets - Police insist on ISI mark, resent exorbitant pricing

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