Amazon India Bans Seatbelt Alarm Blockers In India Over Safety Concerns
The Indian government has asked Amazon to stop selling devices designed to disable car seat belt alarms due to potential safety risks.
The sale of the metal clips is not illegal but such devices and road safety issues have come under the spotlight following the death of Indian tycoon Cyrus Mistry in a car crash.
Evading seat belt alarm
What could have possibly led to his death was his failure to wear a seatbelt.
Transport minister Nitin Gadkari said that the metal clips available on Amazon are inserted in seat belt slots to disable the alarm that keeps pinging when seatbelts are not in use while in motion.
Amazon’s India website on Wednesday had several listings for small metal clips described as products that can “eliminate” seat belt alarms across car variants and models.
They come cheap, costing as little as Rs 249.
The government has sent a notice to Amazon to stop selling these.
Vehicle accidents killed about 150,000 people in India in 2021.
The World Bank last year said that India had a death on its roads every four minutes.
Alarm for rear seated passengers
The government is in talks with car makers to install beepers in vehicles of all price ranges.
This beeper will go off when passengers in the back seats do not wear a seat belt.
Planned safety measures include making seat belt alarms mandatory for rear seats, not only for the driver and front passenger seats.
Gadkari also said that soon, passengers in the back seat not wearing a seatbelt will be fined.
This is a change from the earlier rule that penalised only the driver and co-passenger for not wearing a seat belt.
Quantum of penalty
According to Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), passengers sitting in the rear and not wearing seat belts can be fined Rs 1,000.
However, most people either do not know about this or ignore it.
Gadkari said the government would release an official notification in the next three days, detailing the penalty that will be levied.
The government will also make it mandatory for carmakers to provide at least six airbags in eight-seater vehicles for enhanced passenger safety.
This could come into force from October going by Gadkari’s response- “Koshish toh hai (we are trying)”.