Two-wheeler riders who do not just wear helmets, but those who wear them without fastening the strap to the head also will be penalised from now, according to traffic police officials.

The officials cited two examples: one at Shamirpet where a biker dashed his vehicle into a road divider and died; and his unstrapped helmet flew off and fell in the lake. 'Had he worn the strap, he could have survived with injuries,' the police said.

In the more recent and well-publicised case, actor Sai Dharam Tej escaped with injuries when his helmet, also not strapped on properly, fell off when his bike skidded on sand.

'It is as effective as a person wearing a mask on his face during the pandemic,' said Cyberabad traffic DCP S. Vijay Kumar, adding that it was pointless to wear a helmet without strapping it properly as in case of an event of a crash, it was prone to fall off the head, exposing the person to a fatal injury.

'According to Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a protective headgear, means a helmet, which by virtue of its shape, material and construction, could reasonably be expected to protect the person driving or riding a motorcycle from injury in the event of an accident. It should be securely fastened to the head by means of straps or other fastenings provided on the headgear. Those found without strapping the headgear will be fined and booked,' said the official.

Every person riding a motorcycle of any class or description should wear protective headgear sticking to the ISI standards, though this section shall not apply to a person who is a Sikh and is wearing a turban, explained Rajesh Kumar, a road safety expert. 'It is essential to wear a well-fitting helmet with an effective chinstrap system. A helmet only works when it is worn properly. Wear your helmet covering your forehead, not tilted back,' he explained.
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