Court suspends full-face helmet ban until April 27

Full face helmet motorbike rider

The Court of Appeal today issued an interim order suspending the Gazette notification on banning the use of full-face helmets, until April 27.

The ban on wearing full-face helmets, which was introduced in the wake of increasing crimes committees by persons wearing them to conceal their identity, was to be implemented from today (April 02), initially as a ‘warning opportunity’.

However, when a petition filed by two motorcyclists challenging the ban was taken up for hearing today, a judge bench comprising appellate court president Justice VIjith Malalgoda and Justice H.C.J. Madawala issues the interim order.

The petitioners state that the ban, if implemented, would greatly inconvenience motorcyclists in the country and therefore sought an interim order suspending it.

A recent surge in crimes such as bank robberies and shootings committed by individuals wearing full-face helmets had led to the police department introducing the ban, which has been widely criticized by motorcyclists and politicians alike.

A large number of young motorcyclists had recently staged a protest against the move at Galle Face Green while a memorandum was handed over to the Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga.

Laws pertaining to motorcycle helmets are included in the special gazette notification No. 644/26 (January 11, 1991) while these regulations have been prepared by the relevant ministry under the clause 158 (2) and 237 of the Motor Traffic (Amendment) Act (No. 21 of 1981).

(Ada Derana)