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The Indian government is planning to ban the manufacture and sale of seat belt clips and alarm stoppers in India. This comes shortly after the shocking demise of former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, who passed away on the spot in a crash on 04 September 2022.
In recent times, a greater emphasis has been placed on the safety and safety ratings of cars in the Indian market. Though cars have been around in India for several decades, not much importance was given to the safety aspect. For example, airbags were first patented for automotive use in 1952, however, the Indian government only made it mandatory for cars to have airbags only in 2019.
It is a similar story with seatbelts too. Volvo became the first manufacturer to offer seatbelts as standard equipment way back in 1959. However, in most parts of India, it still isn't mandatory to wear seatbelts and as a result, many do not wear seatbelts. Several metropolitan cities mandate the use of seatbelts for those seated in front, but there is no such rule for those seated in the rear.
Cyrus Mistry and Jehangir Pandole were seated on the rear seat and weren't wearing their seatbelts, which ended up producing grave results. This incident sent shockwaves across the industry and the government wants to do more, to increase road safety in India.
Back in 2019, the Indian government introduced new safety norms for all manufacturers to follow. These rules made it compulsory for all cars sold in India to come with a few safety features as a minimum. This included two airbags, a seatbelt warning, an overspeeding warning, and ABS.
All of these features have been a boon to automotive safety in India. In the event of a crash, in order for the airbag to inflate, the occupant must have worn the seatbelt, and the seatbelt reminder that is integrated into all cars make sure the occupants in the front seats have worn their seatbelts.
However, there are many who do not want to wear the seatbelt and have found a workaround to get the seatbelt warning alarm to stop buzzing. Several accessory shops and online retailers sell what are known as seat belt clips or alarm stoppers. These are little pieces of plastic with a seatbelt-locking mechanism at the other end that clips into the seatbelt buckle.
When in use, these seatbelt clips fool the mechanism into thinking that the driver and passenger have worn the seatbelt. While this might stop the beeping, it also makes the drive extremely dangerous. In the event of a crash, the airbags will be inflated and this could cause more injury to the occupants of the car as they haven't worn the seatbelt.
Now, in the wake of Cyrus Mistry's demise, the government is planning to ban these seatbelt clips from being manufactured and sold in India. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari was quoted as saying, "I have issued the order to ban the manufacturing and sale of such seat belt stopper clips."
Thoughts On Seatbelt Clips & Alarm Stoppers Being Banned
The number of airbags you have in your car, the crash test rating it has achieved, and other safety features are only secondary to seatbelts and safe driving practices. Safe driving practices include the wearing of seatbelts and driving with good control over the speed. If these two practices aren't in place, even the world's safest car just isn't safe enough for you.