Except for Sikh women, it will now be mandatory for females in the City Beautiful to wear helmets while driving two-wheelers.

This rules follows amendment in the Rule 193 of Chandigarh Motor Vehicle Rules, 1990. In the said Rule, the words “or a Woman” have been substituted by the word “A Sikh person (including woman) wearing a turban”, with immediate effect.

The Punjab Governor and Chandigarh administrator VP Singh Badnore on Friday issued the above notification exempting only turbaned Sikh women from wearing a helmet while riding two-wheelers in Chandigarh. The order comes into immediate effect.

The Chandigarh administration had in April issued a notification inviting suggestions on the proposal to make it mandatory for women to wear helmets while riding a two-wheeler.

This comes in response to concerns raised by the Punjab and Haryana High Court about the increasing number of women getting injured in road accidents in Chandigarh.

Earlier this year, the high court had asked the Chandigarh administration about the rationale behind exempting all women from wearing helmets.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act, states and union territories are empowered to make certain exemptions for allowing people to not wear helmets.

In the past, courts have exempted Sikh men and women from wearing helmets on the grounds of faith and the fact that helmets can’t be worn over a turban. Many among Sikhs consider helmets to be akin to caps, wearing which is seen as a ‘symbol of slavery’.