India plans to mandate rear seatbelt alarms in cars after tycoon dies in crash
India is planning to make it mandatory for car makers to install an alarm system for rear seatbelts to enforce their use in an effort to reduce road accident fatalities, the transport minister said on Tuesday.
The move comes after Cyrus Mistry, former chairn of Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, died in a car crash on Sunday. He was sitting in the rear seat and did not have his seatbelt on, local media reported, citing police officials.
"Because of the Cyrus accident we have decided an alarm will continue to beep until those sitting in the rear put on their seatbelts," Nitin Gadkari said during an event organised by the Indian daily Business Standard.
"There is already an alarm for those in the front seats and now it will beep for rear seat belts too."
In India, one person dies every four minutes in road accidents, the World Bank said last year.
While it is mandatory for all occupants in a car in India, the world's fourth-biggest auto market, to wear a seatbelt, failing which they can be fined, passengers at the back seldom do and enforcement is lax.
Gadkari said he plans to strictly enforce the rule and will introduce penalties for those who do not comply.
"The behaviour of people is very important. We need to change the mindset of the people," he said.
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