Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced, Tuesday, that those who sit in the back of a car and do not wear a seat belt will be fined soon, two days after Cyrus Mistry died in a car accident near Mumbai.
Mr Mistry, the former chief of Tata Sons, was sitting in the back seat not wearing a seat belt as his speeding Mercedes crashed into a barrier in Balghar district of Maharashtra on Sunday.
“Indeed, it is necessary to wear a seat belt in the back seat but people do not follow it. There will be a siren if the people in the back seat do not wear belts like the front seats. And if they do not wear belts, there will be a fine,” Mr. Gadkari said in an exclusive interview with NDTV. “If lives are lost, lives must be saved,” he stressed.
Mr. Gadkari said paying the fines is not the motive, but spreading awareness is the reason for the compulsory use of seat belts for those in the back seat. He said the goal by 2024 is to reduce road traffic deaths by 50 percent.
Asked directly what the fine for not wearing a rear seat belt would be, the minister said, “The minimum fine is Rs 1,000.”
Asked if enforcement of the fine would be problematic because state governments have a say in the matter, the minister said “No, I don’t think so. They always support us.”
“There are cameras and anyone who does not follow him can easily be arrested,” Gadkari said.
In response to a question about whether the mandatory installation of airbags in the back seat would increase the cost, the minister emphasized that saving lives was vital.
He stressed, “The cost of one airbag is 1,000, compared to 6, it is 6,000. As production increases, the cost will decrease. The cost is not important, people’s lives are important.”
As per the regulations, airbags are mandatory for front passenger and driver in India. As of January 2022, the government has made it mandatory to install 6 airbags in each passenger car with a maximum passenger limit of 8.
Celebrities are striving for road safety, the minister said, adding that he is seeking cooperation from the media.
“I’m actually really sorry and I feel bad,” Mr. Gadkari said of Cyrus Mistry’s death in a car accident. “We have to learn the lesson and learn from him.”
Data released by the Highway Police today revealed that more than 59,000 people were killed and 80,000 seriously injured in road accidents in Maharashtra in less than five years.
According to the report titled ‘Road Accidents in India – 2020’, more than 11 per cent of the deaths and injuries were caused by the non-use of seat belts, while 30.1 per cent of the deaths and 26 per cent of the injuries were due to the non-use of seat belts. helmets in 2020.