Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Indian authorities will soon notify provisions to impose penalty for not wearing the rear seat belt, days after businessman Cyrus Mistry was killed in a car crash.
“In next three days, we will notify that if one doesn’t wear seat belt sitting on the rear seat in a car, then he or she will be penalised,” Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, said in an event organised by the Business Standard newspaper.
Mistry and Jahangir Pandole, both sitting on the rear seats and not wearing belts, died when their car met with an accident near Mumbai. Anahita Pandole, a well-known gynecologist who was driving, and her husband Darius Pandole who was sitting in the front passenger seat, survived the crash.
More than 1.55 lakh people died in India in road accidents in 2021, up from 1.31 lakh in 2020. And according to a report by the Road Transport and Highway Ministry, more than 11% of deaths and injuries are caused by not using seat belts.
Referring to the Mistry accident, Gadkari said Indians did not take safety seriously. The government will now also make beep alarm mandatory for rear seat belts.
Under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, manufacturers of M1 vehicles—passenger cars—have to equip every motor vehicle with seat belts not just for the front passengers, but also those occupying the front-facing rear seat.