Odisha To Make Rear Seat Belt Mandatory, Hefty Fines For Violation

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will soon make wearing safety belts by occupants of rear seats of four-wheelers mandatory and impose hefty fines for non-compliance.

In a letter to the transport commissioner, the Transport Department asked the official to issue necessary instructions about the use of rear seat belts, reports said on Thursday.

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

“Further, 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,” it stated.

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

“Therefore, 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, it said.

The transport commissioner has been told to issue necessary instructions regarding the use of seat belts as per the provisions and bring it to the notice of the public. “Non-compliance of the above provisions may also be strictly enforced,” the department letter stressed.

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, it said.

It may be noted that the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered enforcement of rear seat belt rule for occupants of car mandatory after the death of former Tata Sons chairperson Cyrus Mistry in a car accident recently.

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