24 Aug 2008, 0311 hrs IST, Ananthakrishnan G ,TNN
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If a suggestion by the Kerala high court is acted on, sari may soon be prohibited for women riding pillion on two wheelers in India. The court has mooted the restriction in the interest of road safety and asked the Central and state governments to consider changes in the Motor Vehicles Act.
A division bench comprising Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Justice V K Mohanan, was hearing an appeal filed by a woman who met with an accident when a truck hit the bike on which she was riding pillion. Disposing of the compensation plea filed by Susamma Thomas of Kollam district, the court said women riding pillion in a sari was dangerous as its loose end could get entangled in the wheels.
The bench observed that the sari would make it difficult for women to sit astride on the rear. Considering road safety, it is better that women sit with their legs on either side while riding pillion on two wheelers, the court said and called upon the Central and state governments to consider changes in the Motor Vehicles Act.
It also asked the authorities to ensure that not more than one child is carried by two adults on a two wheeler. "More load would make the vehicle unstable and cause mishaps," the bench said.
Motorcycle manufacturers should also be instructed upon to provide handgrips behind the driver seat and footrests for the passenger sitting behind, the bench added. The HC also noted that there was no scheme whereby insurance coverage could be provided to a pillion rider.
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