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Old 7th September 2022, 10:41   #1
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Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

The fatal accident involving the former Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry has brought to light the importance of wearing seatbelts once again. Mistry was travelling in the rear seat of a Mercedes-Benz GLC, which crashed into a divider near Mumbai earlier this week. It is said that he was not wearing the seatbelt, which led to serious head injuries.

Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants-seat_belt_01.jpg

In the light of this unfortunate incident, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, has indicated that the government could soon make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants.

Gadkari stated that he plans to introduce seat belt reminders (SBR) for rear seats. At present, most cars have SBR for the front seats, or at least for the driver’s seat. He also confirmed that there would be penalty for not wearing seatbelts in the rear seats.

The government is yet to reveal the timeframe for the introduction of the new regulations.

Source: ET Auto

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Last edited by TusharK : 7th September 2022 at 10:51.
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Old 7th September 2022, 11:13   #2
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

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Originally Posted by TusharK View Post
The fatal accident involving the former Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry has brought to light the importance of wearing seatbelts once again. Mistry was travelling in the rear seat of a Mercedes-Benz GLC, which crashed into a divider near Mumbai earlier this week. It is said that he was not wearing the seatbelt, which led to serious head injuries.
Clear indication of we do only knee jerk reaction and no long term strategy. There are millions of vehicles which does not have rear seat belts. The problem is not just because of seat belts alone (even if it is a major percentage), the infrastructure development does not have any vision/strategy and does not follow any safety or environmental standards. Quality of construction is too bad in various fronts. NHAI should be accountable for the lapses, for the problem we face in highways maintained by NHAI and so on for the rest of the road infrastructure. They have too much money from tolls, taxes and fully corrupt.
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Old 7th September 2022, 11:29   #3
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

Penalty mechanisms are fine and will definitely help in bringing in some compliance.

But ultimately it has to come from within. Unless the owners and occupants of the vehicle are aware of the dangers of remaining unbelted one cannot expect this to percolate down to all and sundry.

And India being India: with a penchant for overloading and sometimes even 4 people sitting in the rear seat I wonder how the penalties will be calculated.

Anyways, it is a step in the right direction. Better late than never. Too bad someone had to pay with their life to jolt people into this realisation.
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Old 7th September 2022, 11:39   #4
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

  • I continue to see / spot vehicles with bull-bars
  • I also observe vehicles having non OE tints (not going into debate of its usefulness)

I sincerely hope this directive does not meet the same fate as the ones listed above. Our safety should be our priority, it is sad, we need a directive / ruling from authorities regarding our own safety.
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Old 7th September 2022, 11:52   #5
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

My Hyundai Verna (2018) does not have seat belt indicator even for front passenger seat, forget about back seats.

Is it possible for the dealer or an after-market guys do install it now?
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Old 7th September 2022, 11:53   #6
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

Step in the right direction. Definitely.

But needs complete thought. For adults its simple. But when you put kids in it, becomes complicated. So we still see babies and toddlers sitting in front seat in laps. Forget seatbelt, they are exposed to airbag injuries. And I see posts on our forum with people using this in travelogues.

Seatbelt for kids or teenagers without a booster/ child restraint seats are useless again. Not only its uncomfortable but immensely dangerous.

Add to this the question marks around times when you don't use your own vehicle. Like cabs, tourist vehicles, friend's and family's vehicles, etc. It's going to be complicated. Hope this does not just become another way just to collect fines and bribes.

Yeah but the awareness part is very important. So hope this brings some of that in at least some more people.
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Old 7th September 2022, 11:57   #7
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

Its a typical knee-jerk "look guys, we are doing something" reaction. Who will penalize the hundreds of thousands of cabs with no seatbelt at all? I struggled to make my father wear seatbelt in the rear seat as long as he was alive . And he was as educated as they come.

A better approach would be to spread awareness, threaten to deny insurance payout deeming it to an "unreasonable risk of self-harm" and drive individual behaviour. And of yes, help the cabbies retrofit rear seat belts for free.

That would be the best use of public money. The current proposal will only lead to more corruption.
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Old 7th September 2022, 12:07   #8
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

When is the government going make "entire lane of highway disappears suddenly without any signs or markings" illegal? This is just another pretext for police to harass people, as its enforcement will be restricted to cops zealously looking into your car windows as you're going at 12kmph within the city, the last place where a rear seat belt is critical. Lakhs of pedestrians die every year but no-one thinks to make roads without footpaths illegal. One person dies in the rear seat not wearing their seatbelt and all this brouhaha. The ultimate irony is probably that Gadkari, other ministers, and govt officers, all of whom primarily use the rear seats of their cars, will continue driving around Delhi without using their seatbelts, as they have no fear of being challaned.
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Old 7th September 2022, 12:36   #9
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

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Originally Posted by vivekz View Post
So we still see babies and toddlers sitting in front seat in laps. Forget seatbelt, they are exposed to airbag injuries.
We really need a ruling on this, we make our son sit in the back seat, but he always complains that all his friends sit in the front seats of their car. We had to give away the booster seat as he refused to sit in it (we were using a booster for long drives only)
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Old 7th September 2022, 12:43   #10
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

In theory it is ok but quite impractical. Wearing Seat belts for rear passengers in city traffic with crawling vehicles will be a kill specially for aged people and children. The reason for the accident is over speeding and going at 130-140 kmph when not needed. If the vehicle was being driven at 80 kmph, I am quite sure the accident would not have been fatal. A young man of 20 years died due to over speeding his BMW 340i and he was not sitting in the rear.

What government should focus more on is to create awareness and penalties for unnecessary over speeding and rash driving. Roads and highways are means to go from one place to another. If someone wants to have thrills, a racing circuit is there to fulfill that.

Making rear seat belts mandatory will not avoid such accidents on the highway as people will still unbuckle and carry on. Only city traffic people will bear the brunt of this regulation where they have to make sure not being fined by traffic cops for the offense.
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Old 7th September 2022, 12:58   #11
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

I welcome the new regulation without any if's and but's.

On a different note....

The trend, in India, over the last 25 to 30 years of building cars with ever increasing horsepower is at least partly responsible for the increase in accidents we see today. We think nothing today of cars with 100, 150, 200, 250+ bhp. These figures could power a 5-seater general aviation aircraft!

Question: Does a car really need this much horsepower to move one to four humans around?

Response: Many of us drove thousands of kms on highways (or what passed for a highway in the '70s to '90s long before the big modern car era started in India in c.1996. In an Ambassador/Premier you could barely cross 70 kmph with 4 passengers. On a Herald maybe 65 kmph. Those journeys were not longer than the ones today if you adjust for the better highways nor was the driving less fun. With these out of proportion horsepower engines we are putting powerful heavy missiles in the hands of the barely trained on highways with incomplete safety infrastructure. I really believe car bhp should be limited to 100 or 75 bhp. You don't need more than that to carry 4 passengers plus 40 kgs of bags at 80 kmph cruising speed. Anything above that is for our egos. I write this even as I am guilty as charged.

Putting here what I wrote on another thread about the back set belt wearing proposed law. Adding it here as it is more relevant to this thread.

Quote:
Of course some may cynically say how will the enforce it, the police themselves are corrupt, see how everyone in the West follows the rules blah, blah & blah. To this my take is that every journey begins with one step. When seat belts were made a rule for front passengers/drivers in Delhi-NCR in 1998 everyone laughed and the same hackneyed arguments were given. People resisted, all or relatives did. Men considered it an affront to their masculinity, women said it crumpled their dresses/sarees and what not. Yet today it is followed by and large. Same way with the rear seat belts. It will take time starting with the big cities and permeating to the smaller ones. It may never settle into the rural areas till past a generation. So be it. In a sub-continent larger, in population, than North and South America put together things will take time. As for the West, yes they follow the rules. Yes they all wear seat belts. But till the 1960s and even into the 1970s that was not the case universally. The right beginning IMHO.

So that we have the data points. Rear pax seat belt wearing being made compulsory in law came into force in the EU in 2006, the UK 2006, Japan 2008, Singapore 2008, USA - not yet.
The biggest and most complex change needed is in our civic sense. The infrastructure etc has come and more will come. The habits, willingness to obey rules, not looking down on those who obey rules, our feudal mentality these have a l-o-n-g way to go.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 7th September 2022 at 13:09.
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Old 7th September 2022, 13:01   #12
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

Rule or no rule, as a enthusiast community, we should wear the seatbelt for our own safety and should also encourage / enforce other occupants to wear their seatbelts for their safety.

Debates on knee jerk reactions, practicality of the rule in the "Indian Context", alternative approaches and how defaulters should be dealt with once the rule is implemented are secondary.
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Old 7th September 2022, 13:05   #13
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I really believe car bhp should be limited to 100 or 75 bhp. You don't need more than that to carry 4 passengers plus 40 kgs of bags at 80 kmph cruising speed.
Even if implemented, it would extremely challenging to meet government norms of pollution levels and mileage per unit of fuel. Underpowered engines really kill fuel efficiency.
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Old 7th September 2022, 13:48   #14
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

I remember countless taxi cabs (plying Mumbai-Pune), whose drivers, in the spirit of decorating their vehicles, modify the rear seating rendering the seat belts inaccessible.

When confronted, their initial sheepish response is "no one asks for it" which transforms into "not required" and finally settling at "there are no fines".

I am glad this rule has come in, however the enforcement will be difficult. Cops can mostly make out the front seat belts, but how will they recognize the rear seat belt not worn by passengers?



Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

Question: Does a car really need this much horsepower to move one to four humans around?

Response: Many of us drove thousands of kms on highways (or what passed for a highway in the '70s to '90s long before the big modern car era started in India in c.1996. In an Ambassador/Premier you could barely cross 70 kmph with 4 passengers. On a Herald maybe 65 kmph. Those journeys were not longer than the ones today if you adjust for the better highways nor was the driving less fun. With these out of proportion horsepower engines we are putting powerful heavy missiles in the hands of the barely trained on highways with incomplete safety infrastructure. I really believe car bhp should be limited to 100 or 75 bhp. You don't need more than that to carry 4 passengers plus 40 kgs of bags at 80 kmph cruising speed. Anything above that is for our egos. I write this even as I am guilty as charged.
.
Agree with rest of your post but regarding the above: similar arguments can be made for most of the "techno-commercial progress" that human civilization has made. Yet we trudge on, creating new problem, and trying to solve these problems while creating another set of problems ad infinitum . Yes, it our egos at work, and the socio-economic structure.

Last edited by alpha1 : 7th September 2022 at 13:56.
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Old 7th September 2022, 14:04   #15
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Re: Govt. to make wearing seatbelts mandatory for rear occupants

These rules are written in blood for us. It's a sad sight to see. As a user of rear passenger seatbelts before such information was released to the news, you'd be SURPRISED how many excuses I got on a daily basis from people who think they knew better regarding how the front seat would protect them in a crash, or how it's not mandatory to wear rear seat belts in a car by any means in India, etc etc.

The problem is not the government, the problem is us Indians and our typical lax attitudes towards discipline on the roads, owing to how someone gets a license with zero effort in the first place without any actual rule/driving testing in most places outside the metros. I see cops at RTOs taking these tests for the prospective license holders for 350 bucks or so (from when I got my license anyway, this was true).

The road is not a joke, but most of us still to this day think it's okay because there's no law, or only till nobody is watching.

Now while I rant here among fellow Team BHPians who are way more than a cut above the rest, I hope this push from the government helps me the next time I have to stage some drama and not start the car when my elders refuse to wear seatbelts.

Last edited by Sen : 7th September 2022 at 14:31.
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