Drivers fined over backseat passengers not wearing seat belts

Oct 05, 2018, 11:20 IST | Rahul Mahajani

The highway traffic police fined over a thousand of them on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway in the past week

Drivers fined over backseat passengers not wearing seat belts
The Highway Safety Patrol has been checking both private and tourist vehicles on the Expressway. File Pic

Drivers, ensure that passengers in the backseat are wearing seat belts. Especially if you are travelling on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. For the first time, highway traffic police have begun to penalise drivers on the Expressway, when they found travellers in the back seat of vehicles were not wearing seat belts.

In the past week, a total of 1,100 drivers were fined, as per the amendments in the Central Motor Vehicle Act (CMVA). The drivers were charged Rs 200 each under Section 138 (3) of the Act.

HSP inspecting vehicles
Officials said the action was taken, as many times, mishaps on the expressway had led to the deaths of travellers in the back seat. They were simply thrown off when the vehicle met with an accident, and wearing a seat belt could have saved their lives. The Highway Safety Patrol (HSP) which is responsible for maintaining traffic discipline on the expressway, has been checking vehicles - private and tourist - and fines were collected at the toll nakas at Khalapur and Talegaon.

While the speed limit of the expressway is 80 kmph, many times drivers over speed, leading to mishaps and over 1,400 deaths have taken place in the past seven years, an official said, adding the reason for implementing the seat belt rule was with an aim to bring down the fatalities.

Responsibility lies with drivers
As per the CMVA, the responsibility of the safety of passengers lay with the driver and this was the reason that the drivers were asked to pay the fine, and not the traveller.

Officials said all vehicles from 2003 (cars and jeeps) had seat belts, however, if a car has three seats behind and just two belts, the person in the middle was exempted. Superintendent of police (HSP) Vijay Patil confirmed that they had started penalising the driver if the traveller in the back did not wear a seat belt on the expressway, and in the past few seven days 1,100 drivers were fined.

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