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Seat belts mandatory for all passengers in car, violators to be fined: Gadkari announces new rule after Mistry's death

By, New Delhi
Sep 07, 2022 06:34 AM IST

Union minister Nitin Gadkari made the announcement on Twitter by sharing a video of him speaking at an event. He said that a detailed notification on the new rule, with the exact amount to be charged as penalty, will soon be issued.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday that from now on wearing seat belts would be mandatory for all passengers in a car, including those on rear seats, and flouting the rule will attract penalty. The announcement was made only two days after former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died in a car accident near Mumbai, and police probe later revealed that he was not wearing a seat belt.

Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times)
Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times)

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Gadkari made the announcement on Twitter by sharing a video of him speaking an event. He also informed that the safety alarms that typically beep when those on the front seats don't wear the seat belts, will now be do the same for rare seat passengers as well. The Union minister clarified that the new rule will be applicable to all kinds of cars - small and big.

The Union minister said that a fine already is in place for those not wearing the seat belt while on the front seats. However, the new rule will impose a penalty on for not fastening the belt even if passengers are sitting on the rear (backside) seats in a vehicle.

In the video, Gadkari stated that the amount to be charged as penalty from those flouting the new rule will be detailed in a notification in a few days.

The accident occurred when Mistry was returning from the Parsi pilgrim of Udvada in Gujarat, with Dr Anahita Pundole, her husband Darius Pundole, and brother-in-law Jehangir Pandole. The car was overspeeding before it crashed into a concrete road divider of Charoti bridge over the Surya river in Palghar on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. Mistry and Jehangir lost their lives on the spot, while Anahita and Darius were severely injured.

Anahita and Darius were shifted to the Sir HN Reliance Foundation hospital on Monday where they are currently admitted in the Intensive Care Unit.

Several teams of experts, meanwhile, will study the car and the site of the crash over the weekend, officials said, adding that several factors were under the radar.

Following the accident, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis directed a detailed investigation into the matter, and thereafter, it was handed to Palghar sub-divisional police officer Prashant Pardeshi.

Earlier in the day, Palghar district superintendent of police (SP) Balasaheb Patil said that a data chip in the ill-fated Mercedes Benz GLC will be sent to “Germany for analysis”. “We are expecting a report of the same by the end of the week,” Patil added.

As part of studying the car and the crash site, a team of Mercedes Benz officials visited Palghar on Monday and retrieved the electronic data chip from the crushed vehicle.

Police also asked the car manufacturer why the airbags in the vehicle did not open on time at the time of the accident. “Why did not the airbags open? Was there any mechanical fault in the vehicle? What was the brake fluid of the car? What was the tire pressure?”

The team of Mercedes Benz officials will submit answers to these and many other questions in its report.

Meanwhile, the last rite of Mistry were performed in Mumbai on Tuesday. His mortal remains, adorned with white flowers, were brought from the JJ Hospital and kept at the Worli crematorium on Tuesday morning for friends, relatives and well-wishers to pay their last respects.

Several business leaders, politicians and members of the Parsi community attended the cremation. These include Mistry's elder brother Shapoor Mistry, former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata’s stepmother Simone Tata, industrialists Anil Ambani and Ajit Gulabchand, NCP MP Supriya Sule, BJP legislator Ganesh Naik, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, and Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia's son Mahanaryaman Scindia, among others.

(With inputs from ANI)

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    A journalist with 7+ years of experience, I pretty much inhale and exhale news – figuratively speaking. Cooking, reading and playing with my dog take up the remaining hours of my normal day. I have an inclination for true crime stories, and love listening to such podcasts.

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