Chennai, Jun 13:
The government has directed two-wheeler manufacturers and dealers in the State to give two helmets free of cost to buyers of new vehicles. The order was issued by the transport department on Monday with a view to reduce fatalities.
The helmetless drive was the cause in over 73 per cent of deaths. Totally, 12,200 persons died in road accidents in the State last year. Quoting Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 Transport commissioner C Samayamoorthy ordered that all new motor vehicle buyers should be given new helmets with the specifications prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standards free of cost.
“The decision was taken in consultation with motor vehicle manufacturers,” he said. According to official records, the number of two-wheelers which was 82.6 lakhs in 2008 jumped to 2.16 crore by March 31, 2018.
Acting on a Supreme Court-appointed committee’s recommendation on the basis of 2017 road accident statistics, Union ministry of road transport and highways had fixed the target for the state to reduce fatal deaths to less than 11,962 in 2018 and 7767 in 2019. Accident deaths should not exceed 3572 by 2020.
However, some two-wheeler dealers objected to the move as it would reduce their profit. “Two helmets will cost around Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500. We have been asked to compensate for the additional cost by making some changes in GST value. Many dealers already do not issue proper bills as two-wheeler sale has dipped,” explained a dealer at Ambattur.