Motorcycle riders’ helmet safety guidelines have finally been developed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
The Pakistan National Standard for Helmet has been suggested for inclusion as a mandatory item’s list at Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority by the Automobile National Standard Committee, which is looking into the establishment of standards for the auto industry (PSQCA). The national standard body would be permitted to inspect helmet manufacture as well as imported ones once the proposed standard was added to the list of requirements.
Even while there are a huge variety of helmets on the market, both domestically produced and imported, they almost all fall short of safety requirements. They are subpar, according to the officials, and have no impact on the safety of the riders.
The MoST conducted tests and studies earlier, according to the officials, and their findings showed that millions of helmets—both those made locally and those imported—were not up to safety standards. The helmets are not only of low quality, but they have also proven to be hazardous for the wearers in the majority of accidents.
According to the report, riders in about 24 motorbike accidents in Karachi lost their lives as a result of severe head injuries brought on by inadequate helmets. The study also contends that Pakistan primarily disregards the safety norms applied to the production of such helmets around the world.
Young Doctors Association in Punjab initially brought up the issue of motorbike rider safety when they contacted LHC in 2018. The involved ministry and agencies failed to put into effect a national helmet safety standard despite waiting more than three years.
According to LHC guidelines, the sale of gasoline to motorcycle riders was outlawed in a number of cities, including Quetta, Lower Dir, Rawalpindi, and Karachi. However, due to the government’s lack of interest, the same could not be adopted indefinitely.
All stockholders, including the motorcycle manufacturers, were asked to participate in the technical committee meeting of PSQCA in Lahore in 2018 where the topic of helmet safety and quality was first raised. In the aforementioned discussion, a number of safety measures for the helmet—including the necessary density of the form within the helmet and six important points that, if neglected during manufacture, could endanger life in accidents—were considered.
About 75% of registered cars in Pakistan are motorcycles. Both the rider and the pillion must wear a helmet in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Ordinance (MVO) and the National Highways Safety Ordinance (NHSO).
According to a survey on helmet use among motorcyclists conducted in September 2018 in Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta, only 6% of 124,216 motorcycle riders wore and strapped their helmets, while the other 28% wore it but did not strap it, 5% carried it but did not strap it on, 1% carried it but never used it, and the remaining 9% never used a helmet at all.