Cyrus Mistry death: Anand Mahindra, Sonu Sood bats for wearing rear seat belt

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The death of businessman and former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry in a road accident has sparked the quintessential debate on the importance of road safety in India and also wearing rear seat belt while travelling in a car. As per the preliminary investigation, Cyrus Mistry was not wearing a seat belt while travelling in the rear seat of a Mercedes-Benz SUV. Although its a punishable offence not to wear a seat belt while sitting inside a moving vehicle, lack of enforcement and awareness results in almost every commuters neglecting the norms.

Experts say that Cyrus Mistry could’ve been alive had he been wearing a seat belt in the rear seat, where he was sitting. Although airbags are not much of a use while in the back seat, not wearing a seat belt will toss the body around, and severe whiplash effect on high speed can cause severe damage, and in the case of recent accident, even death.

With so much of emphasis on rear seat belt, now celebrities and influential people from all walks of life are coming forward pledging to wear a seat belt while sitting in the back seat of a Vehicle. Anand Mahindra, prominent industrialist and Twitter’s favourite businessman recently tweeted and pledged to wear a seat belt. He wrote, “I resolve to always wear my seat belt even when in the rear seat of the car. And I urge all of you to take that pledge too. We all owe it to our families.”

On the other hand, Bollywood actor and social worker Sonu Sood also came forward in support of wearing a seat belt in the rear seat and said, “Seat belt on the rear seats should be as mandatory as it’s on the front seats.”

As per the Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), not wearing a seat belt by passengers sitting in the rear seats attracts a fine of Rs 1,000. However, most people are either unaware of this mandatory rule or just ignore them. Even traffic policemen seldom fine passengers sitting on rear seats for not wearing seat belts.

Unsafe Indian roads

According to National Crime Records Bureau data under the ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India – 2021’, a majority (59.7 per cent) of the road accidents were due to over-speeding, accounting for 87,050 deaths and injuries to 2.28 lakh persons. While over 1.55 lakh lives were lost in road crashes across India in 2021, dangerous or careless driving or overtaking contributed to 25.7 per cent of road accidents that caused 42,853 deaths and injuries to 91,893 persons, it added.

National Road Safety Council member Kamal Soi said India has sufficient road safety standards to ensure road safety on roads, the problem is the enforcement of those standards. “There is massive corruption in road construction, which leads to poor unsafe roads leading to many accidents and deaths,” he added.

With agencies inputs





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