Fastening seat belt must from April 12
Come April 12 and fastening seat belt will be mandatory for those driving four-wheelers in the state capital. The state transport department has asked traffic police and the officials concerned to implement the provisions of sub-rule (3) of Rule 138 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.
“In the first phase, enforcement officers will be asked to monitor all four-wheelers from Saguna Mor to Hartali Mor on the Bailey Road and Dak Bungalow roundabout. The rule of wearing seat belt has been enforced only for front passengers, including the driver and the one sitting next to him,” transport department’s secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal told this newspaper on Sunday. The campaign would slowly be extended to rest of the city, he added.
The violation of Rule 138(3) regarding fastening of seat belts is an offence punishable under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, with a fine of Rs100 for the first offence and up to Rs300 for the second and subsequent offences. “Apart from these penalties under the rule, repeat violation may lead to cancellation of driving licence,” Agarwal said.
When asked about a similar order to make helmet for driving two-wheelers mandatory, Agarwal said similar campaigns had been carried out in the past which resulted in 50% compliance in the state capital. “In comparison, the compliance of fastening seat belts is not even 5%,” he added.
The rule enforced since 1989 also mentions “the manufacturer of every motor vehicle other than motorcycles and three-wheelers of engine capacity not exceeding 500cc” should equip the vehicle with seat belts for the driver and for the person occupying the front seat. Vehicles not fitted with seat belts would be penalized with Rs750 under Rule 125 (a) of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.
These road safety initiatives have been taken with regard to the high rate of accidents occurring in the state. Speed governors have also been made compulsory for commercial vehicles under the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act. The transport department has also made it mandatory for vehicles to have reflective tape for long-distance visibility and high-standard reflectivity.
According to state police headquarters data, altogether 35,579 people died and 4,8543 were injured in around 70,000 road accidents across Bihar between 2010 and 2016.