11th February 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issues a notice for amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The draft is titled as Central Motor Vehicles Rules 2020 and will come into action from 1st October 2020.
To give an insight of the path to be taken by the new set of rules, we can say that it focuses on windscreen standards, motorcycle pillion safety, two-wheeler luggage compartment wherever possible, spare wheels, etc. Of the said things, the pillion safety on motorcycles is the most crucial one.
As per Rule 123, every two-wheeler with a pillion rider provision should be equipped with a permanent hand grip and footrests. It is fairly reasonable but there’s one more addition that the rule wants to imply and that’s a protective panel/disc that partially covers the rear wheel to avoid the pillion’s clothes and other accessories from being stuck in the wheel.
From October 2020, every new motorcycle will be fitted with the rear wheel cover, irrespective of the pricing, category or any other factor. The visual appeal will surely take a hit but nothing can be done about it. This section of the draft has nothing to with the saree guard that we see on every new motorcycle. The enthusiasts didn’t have positive feedback for the compulsion of the saree guard. So in turn, considering it as a piece of irrelevant equipment, most of the customers get rid of the saree guard soon after taking the delivery of their vehicle.
If you’ve noticed, some motorcycles sold in our country are fitted with guard gripped around the rear wheel as the fender/ license plate unit cuts down the practicality for better visual appeal. Apart from preventing the entangling of the pillion clothes, the wheel cover will also come handy during monsoon to avoid the mud splash.
As of now, the rules are currently bound in a 30-day notice counting from the day of the notification was published in the Gazette of India. Let’s see if the Ministry of Transport passes the rule or it receives an objection from the individuals or someone from the two-wheeler industry.