This state makes rear seat belts mandatory, will slap fine on violators
Karnataka has become the latest state to enforce the rear seat belt rule strictly. Passengers seated in backseats of four-wheelers will now have to wear seat belts in order to avoid hefty penalty. The Karnataka Police has issued an order, making the rule mandatory for all with immediate effect. Those who are found violating the traffic rule will be fined ₹1,000. The order issued by Karnataka Police has asked top officials to enforce the rule strictly. It has specified that the rule applies to all vehicles classified as M1, which include SUVs, MUVs, hatchbacks, and sedans.
The order, issued by additional director general (road safety) R Hithendra, follows a letter from the Centre last month which sought compulsory use of rear seat belts inside cars. The Motor Vehicles Act 2019 clearly outlines that wearing seat belts in rear seats of vehicles is not a matter of choice and is an offence that will attract fine.
The letter from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is dated after Cyrus Mistry, former Chairman of Tata Motors, died in a car crash near Palghar, Maharashtra. Probe into the accident pointed out how Mistry's ignorance about wearing seat belt at the backseat was one of the key reasons behind his death. Since then, the issue of road safety as well as safety inside vehicles became a matter of discussion leading to such orders to implement the rule strictly. The rear seat belt rule, though it is part of traffic rules, has often being not implemented as strictly as some of the other rules on the road.
Also check these Vehicles
Recently, major cities like Mumbai and Delhi have started to implement the seat belt rule for passengers seating in the backseats of a car. Mumbai will implement the rule strictly within city limits from November 1. Delhi was one of the firsts to strictly enforce the traffic rule when safety concerns were raised after Cyrus Mistry's death.
India witnesses the highest number of road accidents in the world every year. In 2021, India saw 1.55 lakh people die due to road mishaps. There have been several cases where people have paid the price for not wearing seat belts even in the backseats.