The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued draught rules requiring car manufacturers to install rear seatbelt alarm systems. According to the reports, the deadline for public comments on the draught rules is October 5.
After former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died in a road accident on September 4 in Maharashtra’s Palghar, the Narendra Modi government has been pushing for more measures to ensure road safety. Mistry was seated in the back and was not wearing a seatbelt, according to police.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Road Transport Minister, has already stated that wearing a seat belt in the back seat will be mandatory for all, and violators will face penalties. The minister stated in a video shared on Twitter that the safety alarms that beep for passengers who do not wear seat belts in the front seat will also beep for passengers in the back seat.
The Centre has already notified e-commerce platforms that they must stop selling devices that disable seat belt alarms.
The Delhi Traffic Police has been conducting checks in the national capital, fining passengers who are not wearing rear seat belts a $1,000 fine.
Cab aggregators Ola and Uber have also instructed their drivers to make certain that the rear seat belts in their vehicles are visible and fully functional. Uber is also conducting surprise checks at airports to ensure that drivers are wearing seat belts.
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, over 1.55 lakh people died in road accidents across the country last year. It equates to an average of 426 per day, or 18 per hour. According to the report Road Accidents in India — 2020, non-use of seat belts was responsible for more than 11% of deaths and injuries.