Wearing seat belts would be made mandatory for all passengers in a car, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said. The government will issue a draft notification in this regard in 3-4 days, he said.

“It will now be mandatory for all the people sitting in the car to wear a seat belt,” the minister tweeted. His statements came in the wake of the fatal accident of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry near Mumbai on Sunday.

Earlier, addressing a Business Standard program to celebrate [email protected], Gadkari said that the safety beeps will now be present for rear seats along with the front seats, which will buzz if one doesn’t put on the seat belt.

“We will issue a draft notification in 3-4 days (for making it mandatory for automakers to introduce a seat belt alarm system for rear seats also),” he said.

Mistry and his friend Jahangir Pandole were sitting in the back seat of the Mercedes-Benz car and were not wearing the seat belt when the accident took place in Palghar. Two other car occupants, Anahita Pandole (55), who was at the wheel, and her husband Darius Pandole (60) suffered injuries and are admitted to a private hospital in Mumbai.

Although not wearing a seat belt by passengers sitting in the rear seats attracts a fine of Rs 1,000 under Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), 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.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in a statement said that in order to enhance the safety of occupants of the motor vehicle against lateral impact, it has been decided to enhance safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989.

“A draft notification has been issued on January 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions,” it had said.