The Karnataka Police Wednesday issued orders to impose a fine of Rs.1,000 under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act in order to ensure the compulsory use of seat belts, even by passengers seated on the rear seats of a vehicle.
The seat belt on the rear seat was a topic of discussion when former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry was killed in a road accident in Maharashtra’s Palghar district in September. It was reported at that time that he was not wearing a seat belt when the car met with an accident.
The Director General and Inspector General of Police Praveen Sood on Tuesday directed all commissionerates and traffic department heads and superintendents of police of all the districts to enforce compulsory wearing of seat belt for all the passengers of motor vehicles with not more than eight seats, with an enhanced fine of ₹1,000.
Under Section 194B of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, which mandates the use of safety belts, “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 1000 INR,” the Union government order said.
This will apply to the M1 category of motor vehicles, used for carrying passengers and comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat. These include SUVs, MUVs, hatchbacks, sedans etc. An order was issued on Tuesday, October 18 by R Hithendra, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (Road Safety) to all police commissionerates and district police heads in Karnataka, to enforce the rule.
The city traffic police, however, said that they have already enforced mandatory seat belts for passengers since the rule was updated in September this year. “We have been slapping a fine of ₹500 for first time violators, and ₹1,000 for repeat offences. However, now first-time offences will also be fined ₹1,000,” a senior city traffic police official said.
Karnataka on an average has recorded 31 deaths everyday due to road accidents in 2022 (till August end). According to the state police, about 7,634 people have died and thousands have been injured in road accidents in 2022 till August end. According to a police officer, maximum cases were recorded in Belagavi, Bengaluru city and Tumakuru districts.