The Chandigarh administration has issued a notification whereby it has made it mandatory for women to wear helmets while riding a two-wheeler.
This comes in response to concerns raised by the Punjab and Haryana High Court about the increasing number of women getting injured in road accidents in Chandigarh.
Earlier this year, the high court had asked the Chandigarh administration about the rationale behind exempting all women from wearing helmets.
Under the Motor Vehicles Act, states and union territories are empowered to make certain exemptions for allowing people to not wear helmets.
In the past, courts have exempted Sikh men and women from wearing helmets on the grounds of faith and the fact that helmets can’t be worn over a turban.
Many among Sikhs consider helmets to be akin to caps, wearing which is seen as a ‘symbol of slavery’.
However, in Chandigarh, women from other faiths also refrain from wearing helmets.
Under the notification issued by the Chandigarh administration on Tuesday, only those Sikh women who wear a headgear will be exempted from wearing helmets.
The notification has specifically inserted the words “a Sikh woman wearing a turban”, instead of the previous expression which just said a woman in the section talking about exemption from wearing helmets.
The administration has given a 30-day period to the public to submit objections and suggestions to the notification.
If the notification is approved, any women seeking exemption from wearing helmet will be required to wear a turban.
News Source: India Today