The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is contemplating making wearing seat belts mandatory for rear seat passengers as well. Nitin Gadkari, the minister of road transport and highways, has said that a new rule is in the works, which will allow traffic police to impose fines on the drivers of those cars in which rear seat occupants are not wearing seat belts.
According to Nitin Gadkari, a fine of Rs 1,000 will be levied on the defaulters of this new rule. He also addressed the issue of many vehicle owners following the habit of using clips as an alternative to not wearing seat belts, to avoid the sound alerts of seat belts. For such drivers, Gadkari said that cameras will be installed everywhere, which will detect such defaulters and those who do not wear seat belts and impose fines on them. The Ministry has said that the new rule will be in action in the next three days, which will involve both front and rear seat occupants.
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Use of rear seat belt mandatory
The use of seat belts for both front and rear seat belts is mandatory under Rule 138(3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, avoiding which can attract a fine of Rs 1,000. However, in the majority parts of the country, this rule is not followed by motorists, and even traffic police turn a blind eye to them. However, the concern of not wearing seat belts for motorists has come to the limelight after the sad demise of businessman Cyrus Mistry in a road accident. It is reported that Mistry was not wearing a seat belt when the accident happened.
The government is also working on making seat belt alarms mandatory for rear seat passengers, to ensure that the new rule is followed religiously by people. For now, the seat belt reminder feature is available only for front seat occupants. As per this feature, if the front seat occupants are not wearing seat belts, the security system of the car will continue producing alert sounds, until the seat belts are not fastened. This rule was made mandatory in all new cars in July 2019. The new rule will be in sync with the government’s planning of making six airbags mandatory in all new cars, as airbags usually deploy only if the seat belts are fastened in a car.
Seatbelts clips illegal
Gadkari recalled that even state chief ministers use seatbelt clips. He said,
Let me tell you something new. I travelled with chief ministers of four states during the past year. I sit in the front seat and use the seatbelt. I found a clip placed where the seatbelt is buckled. I scolded the driver. I am talking of the vehicles of four chief ministers, not talking of the common man. The seatbelt was fastened at the back. I told the driver to take it out and start the vehicle till then and then I put on the seatbelt,
The ministry of road transport and highways said that the government is also working on a new rule to make the manufacturing and sales of clips used for restricting the use of seat belts illegal. Gadkari urged the motorists of India not to use such clips in the interest of their safety, as seat belts help motorists escape serious injuries in serious accidents.
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