The government is in talks with car makers to install beepers in vehicles of all price ranges that will go off when passengers in the back seats do not wear a seat belt
Soon, passengers seated in the back seat of a car and not wearing a seatbelt will be fined, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday, two days after the death of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry in a car crash near Mumbai. It will also be mandatory for carmakers to provide at least six airbags in eight-seater vehicles for enhanced passenger safety, the minister said.
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Speaking at an event, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways said earlier that only the driver and co-passenger were penalised for not wearing a seat belt. However, the law has now been updated to include rear passengers as well, the minister said.
The government is in talks with carmakers to install beepers in vehicles of all price ranges that will go off when passengers in the back seats do not wear a seat belt.
Wearing seat belts in the rear seat has been mandatory since October 2002, The Times of India reported. According to Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), passengers sitting in the rear and not wearing seat belts can be fined Rs 1,000. However, most people either do not know about this rule or ignore it.
Gadkari said the government would release an official notification in the next three days, detailing the penalty that will be levied on the rear seat passengers for not wearing a seat belt.
ALSO READ: Cyrus Mistry wasn't wearing seat belt, car was over speeding — Maharashtra police reveals details of accident
Provisions for introducing an alarm for not wearing a seatbelt assume significance as the government is trying to make it compulsory for carmakers to provide more airbags in vehicles from October.
In a draft notification in January this year, the road transport ministry said it had decided to enhance safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989. The notification mandated that M1 category vehicles, manufactured after October 1, would be fitted with “two side/side torso airbags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube airbags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions".
Asked if the government would make it mandatory for carmakers to provide a minimum of six airbags for eight passengers from October this year, Gadkari said: "Koshish toh hai (we are trying)", PTI reported.
Last year, Gadkari appealed to all car makers to provide at least six airbags across all variants and segments of the vehicle, drawing attention to the inadequate number of airbags in small cars, which are mostly bought by lower-middle-class people.
Gadkari’s announcements come days after Mistry died in a car accident while returning from the Parsi pilgrim centre of Udvada in Gujarat to Mumbai. The Mercedes car he was on was speeding before it crashed in Palghar on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. Mistry, who was seated at the back and not wearing a seatbelt, died on the spot.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
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