India plans to make rear seatbelt alarms mandatory in cars after tycoon dies in crash

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Cars are parked at Maruti Suzuki’s factory in Manesar, northern state of Haryana, India August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

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NEW DELHI, Sept 7 (Reuters) – India plans to make it mandatory for carmakers to fit rear seat belt warning systems to enforce their use, in a bid to reduce fatalities due to road accidents, the Minister of Transport announced on Tuesday.

The move comes after Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Indian conglomerate Tata Sons (TATAS.UL), died in a car crash on Sunday. He was sitting in the back seat and had not fastened his seat belt, local media reported citing police officials. Read more

“Because of this Cyrus accident, we have decided (…) that an alarm will continue to sound until those in the back seats put on their seat belts,” Nitin Gadkari said during the interview. an event organized by the Indian daily Business Standard.

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“There is already an alarm for those sitting in the front, and now it will sound for the rear seat belts as well,” he added.

In India, one person dies every four minutes in road accidents, the World Bank said last year.

While it is already compulsory for all car occupants in India, the world’s fourth largest car market, to wear a seat belt or they can be fined, rear seat passengers do so rarely and enforcement is also lax.

Gadkari said he planned to strictly enforce this rule and would introduce penalties for non-compliance.

“People’s behavior is very important. We have to change people’s mindsets,” he said.

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Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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