ISI Helmets: Are They Good Enough

From June 1, 2021, the government has banned the usage of non-ISI marked helmets in India

Over the years, the government of India has tried to ban the usage of non-ISI marked helmets. Finally, in 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has passed a ruling according to which helmets that do not bear the Bureau of Indian standard or the ISI mark are not legal in the country. It also means that the manufacturing, storing, importing or selling of helmets without the mark is an illegal activity. Therefore, anyone found involved in the mentioned activities is likely to be prosecuted and penalized by the court of law of the state.

The step taken by the government is commendable because it stops people from purchasing fake or sub-standard helmets that are usually sold by roadside vendors at extremely cheap prices. However, there is one problem with this new ruling. If all the helmets in the country must bear the BSI/ISI mark, what will happen to helmets that are imported from foreign countries? Helmets that bear international certification such as ECE, DOT or SNELL. As of now, we do not know. However, there is another question that comes to our mind and i.e., are the ISI marked helmets good enough?

Let us begin by giving you a ray of positivity. In case you purchase an ISI marked helmet, it is likely to get the job done because the ISI mark standard is based on the ECE 22.05 (Economic Commission for Europe) which is considered the best helmet standard in the entire world. Another factor that must be noted is that all the ECE marked helmets in the world go through many testing rounds. Therefore, one can be assured that an ECE marked helmet is a good purchase and so is the case with DOT and SNELL marked helmets. Therefore, kudos to the MoRTH for selecting and implementing the same standard as ECE in India. However, we have a prominent concern.

In India, helmets are to bear the ISI mark but the testing of every helmet coming from the production line is not mandatory. In short, companies that are members of the ISI Helmet Manufacturers Association can simply sell their products without testing the helmets. So, are the ISI marked helmets safe? We simply do not know, and all we can do is trust the marking. Last but not least, it is our recommendation to stick to helmets that come with ECE, DOT and SNELL certifications.

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