Centre plans to ban seat belt alarm stoppers after Cyrus Mistry's death

Cyrus Mistry, former Chairman of Tata Motors, was killed in an accident near Palghar on Sunday. Mistry was not wearing seat belt while travelling in a
The Centre is planning to expand the scope of CCTVs installed along highways to detect and automatically prosecute those not wearing a seat belt inside a car. (HT_PRINT)
The Centre is planning to expand the scope of CCTVs installed along highways to detect and automatically prosecute those not wearing a seat belt inside a car.

Cyrus Mistry's death has reignited debate of often overlooked safety aspects on Indian roads, especially of the rear passengers. One of the causes that is believed to have killed Mistry on the spot was his ignorance about seat belts at the rear seats of the Mercedes GLC he was travelling in. The tragic incident has forced the Centre to rethink its rule on seat belt and seat belt warning system. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is likely to ban all mechanism to stop seat belt warning alarms soon.

According to a report on Hindustan Times, the ministry will take four key decisions as a fallout of Cyrus Mistry's death in the road accident in Palghar on Sunday. The report says the ministry will ban seat belt beep alarm stoppers, make six airbags in cars and three-point seat belts for middle and rear seats mandatory for carmakers and campaign to raise awareness on the importance of seat belts, including for those in the backseats of a car. The ministry is also likely to stringently review design proposals for new roads and levy strict penalties for those failing set standards.

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“We are formulating orders for the same and the process is on. Order to ban all kinds of such seat belt clips will be issued soon," a senior transport ministry official was quoted by Hindustan Times.

Cars in India mostly come with seat belt warning systems for front occupants. Some of the cars also stop moving if it detects the front passengers are not wearing seat belts. However, there are no such warning system for rear passengers. The seat belt alarm stoppers are clips which stop beeping after one buckles it.

Also Read - How long - and loud - is seat-belt reminder alarm in your car? Check criterion

The move by the Centre was confirmed Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. He said, “I have issued the order to ban the manufacturing and sale of such seat belt stopper clips. I am also working on expanding the scope of cameras installed in our highways to detect and automatically prosecute those not wearing a seat belt inside a car."

"People think back-seaters don't need belts. It is the problem. I don't want to make any comments on any accident. But both front-seaters and back-seaters need to wear seat belts," he added, referring to the tragic death of former Chairman of Tata Motors. His ministry had issued a draft notification earlier this year seeking views on making six airbags mandatory inside cars that can carry up to eight people from October 1. However, a formal notification has not been issued yet after several carmakers raised questions on feasibility of the move.

In February, Gadkari had said that his ministry will make three-point seat belts mandatory for all front facing passengers in vehicles. At present, the middle rear seats in most cars do not come with three-point belts and are often the reason of low scores during safety crash tests.

First Published Date: 06 Sep 2022, 11:06 AM IST

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