Chief Traffic Police Officer Peshawar Abbas Majeed Khan Marwat has made an exemption of helmet wearing for the Sikh bike riders. As many as 60,000 Sikhs live in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), including 15,000 who live in Peshawar alone.
Since Sikhs are not allowed to remove their turbans as per their religion, and hence the need for helmet is unnecessary for them which is why KPK had officially issued a notification exempting them from the challan charges applicable in case of not wearing a helmet.
@IMMahmoodKhan @igpkp_official @AbbasAhsan @abbasmaj @KP_Police1 @KPKUpdates @kpk_police pic.twitter.com/ZadzIbrr9l
— Mansoor Jamal (@Mansoorjamal_IT) August 27, 2021
The initiative was taken after a traffic warden issued a ticket to one of the Sikh members for not wearing a helmet during bike riding. The traffic police chief apologized and said that traffic police will provide all facilities to the minorities’ communities and work for resolving the issues faced by them.
Abbas Majeed Khan Marwat also said the people should follow the traffic rules and regulations as these had been framed for their own safety. The Sikh community thanked the traffic police for their efforts to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, and also for taking the time out to listen and resolve the issues faced by the minorities.
Helmet alternative in the making
A Canadian Sikh man named Vic Bath may have an alternative solution to helmets for the Sikh community.
Bath, a creative lead at marketing firm Zulu Alpha Kilo, worked closely with Spark Innovations, industrial designers who’ve helped develop other unique protective headgear; and Pfaff Harley-Davidson, which sells motorcycles across Ontario to create a special protective turban.
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The turban is named “Tough Turban” that features bulletproof laminate and foam that hardens on impact. Tough Turban’s chain-mail-like design features bulletproof laminate called Dyneema and a foam that hardens on impact that’s used in military armor and helmets. The design, which also includes 3D-printed chainmail lining, pays homage to how early traditional Sikh warriors used to affix chainmail onto their turbans before battle.
@harleydavidson designed “tough turban “ impact resistant materials specially for motor riders who wear turban nt hamlet. Apt from safety precautions they dedicated this to larger Sikh consumers base.
Note: This is aUS based company whereas India has majority of Sikh population pic.twitter.com/xbS6gpp6jn
— Jagpinder Kaur Dhillon (ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ_ਦੀ_ਬੇਟੀ) (@jdhillonA) August 10, 2021
Wearing a turban is a deeply important symbol for Sikhs and some motorcyclists of the faith have had helmet exemptions for years. British Columbia and Manitoba first granted Sikhs a helmet exemption in 1999, with Ontario and Alberta following suit in 2018.
Bath said the idea behind the Tough Turban “really came out of how we can celebrate the fact that people have the ability to have self-expression while riding a motorcycle but use the latest protective gear within that.”
But designers behind the “Tough Turban” acknowledge that despite it having safety material such as D30-like shock absorbers, it doesn’t offer the same kind of impact resistance and protection as a traditional full-face motorcycle helmet.
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Keeping in mind the interest of the riding community, the team felt it best to open source the prototype of the Tough Turban and release it online. This way, manufacturers anywhere can access the virtual blueprint which could benefit scores of riders.
The design is not being mass produced yet but that could change if the demand and popularity of the product grew more.