Car travel could soon lose some of its fun for kids.
The government has decided that from April 2015 onwards it would be mandatory for parents/drivers to belt-up children below 12 years in special child restraint seats before they set out. Most developed countries have long had such a rule.
“A car can’t be treated as a playground... it is dangerous to let children sit in a car that does not has provision for child safety seats. We are in the process of issuing a notification which will make it mandatory for drivers to ensure that children below 12 years are seated in appropriate child seats to protect them from injury during collision from April 2015,” said a road ministry official.
But before this, the ministry is also making it mandatory for manufacturers of passenger vehicles to have provision for installation of any type of child restraint systems in cars on at least one of the seating positions from October 1, 2014 onwards.
Though presently one can get child seat installed in cars it is not mandatory resulting in many people giving a go by to such safety provision while driving with young children on board.
Automobile manufacturers are on board with the ministry’s decision.
“It’s about time that our vehicle safety guidelines which include child restraint system are aligned with international standards. It will result in slight escalation of cost but the safety aspects are far more important,” said a senior official of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.