Rear Seat Belt Alarm To Be Made Mandatory, Road Ministry Drafts Rules

In its effort to curb road accident fatalities, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) has issued draft rules to make it mandatory for car makers to install alarm systems for rear seat belts. The last date for public comments on draft rules is October 5, as per the notification, reported news agency Reuters.

The notification comes after the former chairman of Tata Sons Cyrus Mistry died in a car crash recently. Mistry, who was sitting in the rear seat, was killed in a road accident after his car hit a divider in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

Earlier, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said it will be mandatory for automakers to introduce a seat belt alarm system for rear seats also.

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The rules at present make it mandatory for all vehicle manufacturers to provide seat belt reminders only for front-seat passengers.

As of now not wearing a seat belt by passengers sitting in the rear seats attracts a fine of Rs 1,000 under Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR). However, most people are unaware of this mandatory rule. 

Notification About Seat Belt Alarm

Seat belt alarms are to become mandatory in M ​​and N category vehicles, and vehicles will have an audio-video warning if seat belts are not worn. Apart from this, over speed alarm will become mandatory too, the draft notification said, according to the Money Control report.

Other measures to be taken for M1 category vehicles (vehicles that comprise not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat) are as follows:

– Speed alert system to alert the driver in case of over speeds, driver and co-driver all other front-facing seat occupants’ safety belt reminder, manual override for central locking system-Driver Airbag and co-driver airbag (passenger airbag)

– Child safety lock not permitted in M1 category vehicles

In the case of M and N category vehicles, a reverse parking alert system will be applicable.

A three-level alarm system will be installed to alert riders if passengers are without seatbelts:

– First-level warning means a visual warning will be activated when the ignition switch is engaged -engine running or not – and the driver’s and/or rear seat passengers’ safety belt is not fastened.

– Second level warning means a visual and audible warning will be activated when a driver operates a vehicle without fastening of the driver and/or rear seat passenger’s safety belt.

– ‘Safety-Belt is not fastened’ warning will be activated which means, at the option of the manufacturer, either the driver and /or the rear seat passengers’ safety-belt buckle is not engaged or the webbing length pulled out of the retractor is 100 mm or less.

(With agency inputs)