Stop online sale of seat belt alarm blockers, Transport Ministry writes to Consumer Affairs Ministry

Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that the government is planning to make it mandatory for automakers to introduce a seat belt alarm system for rear seats as well

September 08, 2022 05:17 am | Updated 05:17 am IST - New Delhi

Representational image.

Representational image. | Photo Credit: K.K. Mustafah

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has written to the Consumer Affairs Ministry to ask e-commerce companies to stop selling devices designed to disable car seat belt alarms, a senior government official said.

The official said the Central Consumer Protection Authority had sent notices to e-commerce companies selling devices designed to disable car seat belt alarms based on a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) complain in May this year.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that the government is planning to make it mandatory for automakers to introduce a seat belt alarm system for rear seats as well.

His comments came after former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died in a road accident on Sunday after his car hit a divider in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

It appears that Mistry, who was seated in the rear with his friend Jahangir Pandole, wasn’t wearing a seat belt and must have been thrown in front at great velocity as the speeding car crashed into a divider. Pandole also died in the accident.

Presently, it is mandatory for all vehicle manufacturers to provide seat belt reminders for front-seat passengers.

Although rear seat passengers not wearing a seat belt attracts a fine of ₹1,000 under Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), most people are either unaware of it or just ignore it.

Even traffic policemen seldom fine rear seat passengers for not wearing seat belts.

Earlier this week, Mr. Gadkari said, “I have travelled with chief ministers of four different States in the last one year. All of their drivers had clips installed in the cars that subverted the seat belt alarms in their cars.”

According to a recent Road Ministry report, the number of people killed and injured due to not wearing a seat belt during 2020 stood at 15,146 and 39,102, respectively.

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