Motorcyclists must wear a helmet and cannot be exempted from the rule on religious grounds, one of Germany’s top five courts has ruled.
According to a report in ‘DW’, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig rejected a Sikh man's appeal, who had argued that the helmet would not fit over his turban.
"People wearing a turban on religious grounds are not for that reason alone exempt from the obligation to wear a helmet," the presiding judge, Renate Philipp, said, adding that the claimant had to accept this restriction to his freedom of religion, as it served to uphold the rights of others, too.
The ruling on Thursday was backed by a verdict from a lower court in the southern city of Constance, which had found that driving a motorcycle was not essential for the claimant, as he also had access to a car and a delivery van.
The Leipzig court argued that the obligation to wear a helmet not only protected the driver but also kept other drivers from being traumatised if they caused heavy injury to someone driving without a helmet.
The court also said a driver wearing a helmet would be better placed to help others in case of an accident.
In the UK as well as in several provinces of Canada, Sikhs are exempt from wearing helmets on motorcycles or hard hats on building sites.