The Delhi Traffic Police on Wednesday started a campaign to encourage people to use rear seat belts, failing which they would be fined Rs 1,000, as part of its increased efforts to promote road safety. The police checked the Barakhamba Road near Connaught Place in central Delhi on the first day of the special drive to verify compliance.
According to Section 194B (usage of safety belts and the sitting of minors) of the Motor Vehicles Act, a total of 17 court challans were given during the drive from 11 am to 1 pm, according to a senior police official.
According to the police, the culprits were each fined Rs 1,000.
The initiative follows the September 4 death of Cyrus Mistry, a former chairman of Tata Sons, at the age of 54, in a car accident in the Palghar area of Maharashtra. Police claim that Mistry, who was seated in the back, was not using a seat belt.
The legal restrictions were previously in place, but following the most recent occurrence (Mistry's death), they have come under debate, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Traffic) Aalap Patel.
"To raise public awareness of the value of seat belt use, the Delhi Traffic Police has already launched a campaign. Additionally, we are filing a lawsuit," added the policeman.
The Delhi Police encouraged people to always buckle up and not drive too fast last week on Twitter.
More than 1,900 people died in traffic incidents involving carelessness on the side of drivers or passengers in Delhi last year, according to government figures.
Last year, the Delhi Traffic Police issued nearly 1.2 crore warnings to people who were speeding, running red signals, improperly parking, and without using seat belts.
The extra effort of the traffic police was welcomed by S Velmurugan, head scientist of the traffic engineering and safety division at the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).
The Delhi Traffic Police made a wise decision with this. The Motor Vehicles Act of 2014 makes seatbelt use mandatory for those in the back seat. This enforcement may result in a 10% decrease in deaths. People frequently accelerate during periods of little traffic, which causes collisions, according to Velmurugan.
The need of rear seat belts, according to Atul Goyal, president of United Residents Joint Action Of Delhi, may not be practical.
It's a wonderful idea to push for safety standards, but Indian families are larger. Usually, there are more than two passengers in the rear seat. Either a third seat belt should be required in all vehicles, or requiring it would be impractical. Therefore, the government needs to come up with a substitute. Before establishing regulations, present choices, said he.
In a separate initiative, the Delhi Traffic Police started inspecting cars with tinted windows.
"Starting today, the #DelhiTrafficPolice will fine people who have tinted glass or glass films that are too dark. Additionally, we'll keep an eye out for kids who are caught driving without a licence and fine the responsible parties," tweeted the police department.
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