HomeCar NewsRear Seatbelt Reminder To Be Mandated By Indian Government

Rear Seatbelt Reminder To Be Mandated By Indian Government

The car which is a part of the incident that triggered this development, is a 2017 model Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d 4MATIC with 7 airbags as standard

Rear Seat Belt Crash Test
File photo.

Recent car accident which resulted in the death of former Tata Group Chairman, Cyrus Mistry – is likely to get rear seatbelt reminders mandated in India. He was traveling in the rear seat of a Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d 4MATIC. The unfortunate incident has finally shed new light on a particular aspect of vehicular safety. Rear occupant seatbelts.

In today’s date and time, where road safety has started to gain prominence like never before in India. Road users as well as official social media handles of Police from different cities and states – regularly share photos and videos of road accidents. Looking at them, I realised that some of our roads are prone to accident.

I’m not just talking about the physical conditions of roads. But also the random and unimaginable idiocies that take place like clockwork – sometimes entirely because of the road users. The GLC SUV in question is not at fault in this entire issue. But it is something much more substantial.

Cyrus Mistry Car Accident

Police have revealed that the car in question covered 20 km in 9 minutes which accounts for 2.23 km per minute or an average speed of over 133 km/h. This means that there were sections where the car could have been travelling at an even higher speed. In addition, the road where the accident took place, shrinks from three lanes to two lanes.

When the driver tried to merge into the lane, the car hit the divider. During the crash, GLC SUV’s safety systems like side and curtain airbags and also front seat pre-tensioners have worked as they should. The front two occupants were wearing seat belts, and they have survived with injury. But, seatbelts were not strapped by rear passengers – Cyrus Mistry and Jahangir Pandole. Both of them died in the accident.

Mandates Following This Incident

Minister Gadkari has revealed that rear seatbelt reminder will be mandated just like front seatbelts. There is a fine of Rs 1,000 in place under Article 138 (3) of CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules). But due to poor enforcement of this rule, people at the back think they’re safer than front occupants during a crash. But IIHS studies clearly show that that is not the case at all.

Mandating 6 SRS airbags is debatable, but mandating crash tests under Bharat NCAP and mandating rear seatbelt reminder is very logical. Remember, airbags are supplemental restraint systems and seatbelts are primary restraint systems. This accident is a good reminder that even if you own a safe car that has multiple airbags, you can still die in a crash.

According to National Crime Record Bureau’s report regarding Accidental Deaths in 2021 in India, we witnessed 4,03,116 road crash cases in 2021 with a 13.61% rise from 2020. Not just that, we had 1,55,622 fatalities in 2021 over 1,33,201 in 2020 with a 16.83% rise. Also, 3,71,884 injuries in 2021 over 3,35,000 injuries in 2020 with 11% rise. This is not the kind of rise we need.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has said that a notification will be drafted in three days to regulate much stricter penalties for not strapping rear seatbelts. I survived a head-on collision with a bus in 2019. Car had no airbags. But I walked out of it because I was wearing a seatbelt. Always wear a seatbelt, no matter where you are seated.

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