A polytechnic student in Kurigram has built a helmet that will prevent a motorcycle from starting unless the rider puts it on, or if the rider is inebriated.
What's more, the whole system has been built for Tk1,000 or about $12.
On Thursday, Kurigram police presented Motiur Rahman Riat, a student of electrical and electronics department at Kurigram Polytechnic Institute with a motorcycle for what they say is a significant contribution to traffic safety.
“The motorcycle and the helmet will be linked by a wireless device. The bike will not start until the rider puts the helmet on,” Riat told the Dhaka Tribune.
The helmet will be powered by a solar cell at the top, or it can be connected to the bike. Alternatively a battery can be placed inside.
“Someone trying to start the motorcycle without wearing a helmet will get an error message from the vehicle instead, saying they need to put on the helmet and that the helmet will keep them safe,” Riat added.
Police say the innovation will encourage compliance with helmet rules, which often cannot be enforced even under the pressure of fines and legal action.
“A air sensor in front of the helmet will analyse the rider's breath to prevent drunk driving. Even if the bike starts, it will automatically turn off,” Riat said.
An unintended benefit of the system, he said, is that it will prevent motorcycle theft because the vehicle cannot start without the helmet.
Kurigram Superintendent of Police Md Mehedul Karim gave Riat the keys to a motorcycle on Thursday.
Additional SP Menhajul Alam told the Dhaka Tribune police had already awarded the talented innovator as an Accomplished Student on Police Day.
“The bike was needed for the testing of his smart bike system and make the service available as soon as possible. We hope that the innovation will contribute effectively to people's safety,” he said.
Riat expressed his gratitude to the district police, saying it would inspire him to create more innovations.