Going by the current statics over 75% to 80% of helmets used by two-wheeler riders across India do not meet ISI standards, the market is flooded with sub-standard products that compromise on safety despite a fourth of all road deaths involve two-wheeler occupants.
In countries such as ours where helmet compliance is high, success is always built on two essential initiatives: education and public awareness, teaching people why a law is necessary; and the enforcement of laws. Sadly, not everyone will comply except when they understand helmets’ importance, so it is necessary to punish those who do not obey the law.
People like Mr. Ulhaas PR have put their foot down towards road safety and been at it for the last 8 years. Ulhaas’s friend had lost her life in a road accident as she was not wearing a helmet. He was majorly moved with this mishap and made up his mind that he will work towards making helmets compulsory for women.
The 47 year old after making remarkable efforts to visit 29 states in a period of six months has now put up RTI in the respective states. The States are Andhra Pradesh , Arunachal Pradesh ,Assam, Bihar , Chhattisgarh ,Goa ,Gujarat , Haryana , Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir , Jharkhand , Karnataka ,Kerala ,Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra ,Manipur , Meghalaya ,Mizoram ,Nagaland ,Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim ,Tamil Nadu ,Telangana ,Tripura ,Uttarakhand , Uttar Pradesh & West Bengal .
Also, his tremendous hard work in making helmets compulsory for women finally paid off in 2014 when the high court passed an order.
Ulhaas has spent is saving of 3.5 lakhs on his mission towards road safety. He has surveyed 29 states and sent poor quality helmets being used by people to the PM and the President to make ISI marked helmets compulsory as it is of utmost important for the safety of the riders.
Spending capacity of rural and semi-rural area is increasing day by day, making India a big market for automobile Industry. This is acting as a magnetic factor and attracting a lot of players in the helmet manufacturing industry too. India being a lucrative market for the automobile sector automatically makes it a win – win situation for the helmet manufacturers as it boosts the demand and road safety concerns- which obviously becomes the prime concern. But is the rider’s safety genuine or fake is the big question with the market being flooded with substandard helmets.
Moreover, regardless of the fact that wearing a helmet is a good way to ensure safety; in our country riders underestimate its role too and tend to buy cheap headwear, which does not protect them well. And unfortunately this is giving rise to the substandard helmet manufacturers.