Kozhikode, Sep 1 : Even as the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 would pave way for a better-disciplined, safe and sensible driving on Indian roads, a huge business of helmets is being opened up along with its implementation, thanks to the mandatory provision of wearing helmet by the pillion rider also.
It is estimated that more than half of the households in the developed rural areas and the urban towns own a two-wheeler. According to research studies done by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the Indian two-wheeler market had overtaken China in 2017 by selling as much as 117 million two-wheelers that year against 16.8 million by China, which stood on top till 2016.
As per the statistics of the various automobile associations the total number of two-wheeler population in India was over 3-crore by the turn of 2018.
The high fine and strict checking would eventually end up in the two-wheeler owners going in for a helmet for self and others for the pillion rider. According to a local motor vehicle official, almost all in the cities and about half of the two-wheeler owners have a helmet, though many do not wear them.
This leaves only a couple of lakhs of the semi-urban and rural areas wanting to buy one for their own use. But, the market for the reserve helmet for the pillion rider is the catch for the big business in the pipeline. The revised fine for all offences, including wearing of helmets has been increased by ten times. As per the new norm, not only the driver but also the pillion rider will have to wear helmets while travelling on a two-wheeler in Kerala.
The revised fine for driving without a helmet is Rs 1,000 and the same applies to the pillion rider also. Obviously, a strict implementation would force the offenders go for one or two helmets, one reserved for the pillion rider also.
And, this fact itself has opened a huge market for the helmet dealers.
“We have increased our stock by triple considering the demand. The price of the headgear varies from Rs 600 to Rs 2000,” said one of the dealers on the Kannur Road.
According to rough estimates, the total number of two-wheelers in Kerala is around 30 lakhs. The demand for helmets for the pillion rider and self in the state alone will be about thirty lakhs considering that few thousands already have one reserved for the pillion rider. Estimating an average price of Rs 800 for a helmet, the total and immediate business of helmet would be a whopping Rs 240-crore. The 200-odd helmet dealers across the state expect a good windfall business, thanks to the new rule and its likely-strict implementation! (UNI)