Three-point seatbelts for middle seats to become mandatory soon in India: Report
The Indian government will soon make it mandatory for the automakers to provide only three-point seatbelts in all seats of a car. This means the third occupant seated in the middle of the rear seat too will get a three-point seatbelt, reveals a Hindustan Times report. According to the report, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will soon announce this mandate.
Currently, only the front seats and two rear seats in most of the cars available in India come equipped with three-point seatbelts. These are also called Y-shaped seatbelts. The rear centre seat in these cars come equipped with only a two-point or lap seatbelt, which is similar to the ones provided in aircraft seats.
MoRTH is expected to issue a draft notification within a month suggesting a three-point seatbelt for the centre rear seat mandatory for the automakers. However, before making it a rule, the government will seek public suggestions and comments.
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The government intends to improve the overall safety ratings of passenger cars manufactured in India. This move is expected to increase the safety of the car occupants and reduce the chance of injuries and fatalities in case of accidents. Three-point seatbelts are scientifically proven to be much safer than two-point seatbelts as they evenly spread out the energy of a moving body over the chest, shoulders and pelvis at the time of a collision and result in lesser injuries.
Three-point seatbelts were invented and introduced by Swedish automaker Volvo back in August 1959. However, the automaker decided to leave the patent open for other carmakers in the greater interest of public safety.
According to a MoRTH official, the ministry has found that barring a few models, no other vehicle in India has three-point seatbelts for the passenger seated in the rear middle seat. They only get a lap belt instead, which is hardly effective in case of a crash, putting the passenger at great risk.
This move comes after the MoRTH issued a draft notification earlier this year on 14th January, seeking public comments on the proposed rule that will make it mandatory for all the carmakers to provide six airbags in all cars.