Scooters and bikes with an engine capacity less than 100 cc will soon be allowed only a single rider in Karnataka. The state government said it will ban pillion-riding on such two-wheelers to improve road safety, the Bangalore Mirror reported.

The government said the ban will only apply to new vehicles and will not affect the ones already on the roads. Manufacturers need to ensure such bikes have single seats.

“The High Court of Karnataka had sought an explanation from the state government while hearing an accident case in which a youngster had died,” state Transport Minister HM Revanna told Bangalore Mirror. “Responding to the HC’s direction, we filed an affidavit that we will comply with the Motor Vehicles Act, which does not allow pillion riding on bikes up to 100 cc.”

While some reports said the ban is unlikely to affect too many commuters as most scooters and bikes fall in the over-100 cc category, a report in The Times of India said the government may consider relaxing the ban to cover bikes 50 cc and below. The report said 25% two-wheelers fall in the below-100 cc category. Transport department officials told The Times of India that they had proposed to amend the rule from 100cc to 50cc in 1996 but it has been delayed.

“We have to follow the recent high court order based on Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, which does not allow pillion riding on two-wheelers less than 100cc,” the newspaper quoted transport commissioner B Dayananda as saying. He added the department will send a proposal to the state government to re-examine the earlier move to reduce the ban from 100cc to 50cc.