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Seat Belt Made Mandatory

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the fatal accident of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry near Mumbai, Odisha Government is going to make wearing seat belts mandatory for all passengers in a car.

Following a instruction from Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H), State Transport Department has asked the Transport Commissioner (TC) to issue necessary instructions regarding use of seat belts as per provisions under Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989 and brought it to the notice of public.

Bishnupada Sethi Principal Secretary Commerce and Transport directed officials to instruct Transport Commissioner in this regard.

Section 194B of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 mandates the use of safety belts, and sub-section 1 of Section -194 B, says that “whoever drives a motor vehicle without wearing a seat belt or carries passengers not wearing a safety belt shall be punishable with a fine of Rs 1000”.

Similarly, rule -125(1) of CMVR, 1989 specifies that all motor vehicles other than motorcycles and 3 wheelers shall be equipped with a seat belt for the driver and the person occupying the front seat.

Further, rule -125(1) (a) of CMVR indicates that M1 category motor vehicles (comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver seat), used for the carriage of passengers, should be equipped with a seat belt for a person occupying the front facing rear seat.

Keeping all the above norms in view, the Transport Department Joint Secretary Kishore Chandra Das, told the TC to ensure that all passengers of M1 category vehicles having front facing seats should wear seat belts. The seat covers on passenger seats should not obstruct the locking and unlocking of the seat belt, he said.

As per the instruction, all passenger vehicles with capacity of eight passengers excluding the driver, will have to put up seat belts during travel. Otherwise, they will attract a fine of Rs 1000.    

“Non-compliance of the above provisions may also be strictly enforced. You are, further, requested that at the time of renewal of fitness of vehicles, it may be ensured that the seat covers used are not obstructing the locking and unlocking of seat belts,” Das said in his letter.

Notably, Mr.Mistry and his friend Jahangir Pandole were sitting in the back seat of the Mercedes-Benz car and were not wearing the seat belt when the accident took place in Palghar in Mumbai on September 4. Both died on the spot.