Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry was sitting in the back seat without a seat belt when he died in a tragic road accident. Mistry’s demise has raised serious concerns about road safety. Following the incident, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has mandated the wearing of seat belts for rear passengers.
Why is it important to wear a seat belt?
- Accidents can happen even when driving at a lower speed and even in safe areas.
- The seat belt retrains the movement of the passenger’s shoulders and hips.
- Due to a seat belt, the force of collision spread over a wide area of the body.
- It protects the brain and spinal cord, the most important parts of the passenger.
What does the law say about wearing seat belts?
As per Section 138(3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMV), 1989, “In all motor vehicles, in which seat belts have been provided it shall be ensured that the driver and the person seated in the front seat wear the seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.”
According to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules notification of 2004, which was enforced in 2005, wearing of the rear seat belt is compulsory. However, it is applicable only when the seat belt is provided by the manufacturer.
As per section 125 (1 A), “The manufacturer of every vehicle of MI category (cars and other four wheelers) shall equip every motor vehicle with seat belt for a person occupying the front facing rear seat.”
The 2019 Amendment states that “Whoever drives a motor vehicle without wearing a safety belt or carries passengers not wearing seat belts shall be punishable with a fine of one thousand rupees.”
Can insurance be claimed if the passenger is not wearing a seat belt?
An insurance company is bound to honour the death claim in case of a road accident where it is found by the company that the passengers were not wearing their seat belts. The insurer cannot reject the claim on the basis that the person was not wearing a seatbelt.
But if the claim goes to the court or to the tribunal, then, the insurance company may plead contributory negligence and violation of statutory laws by the passengers. As a result, the final amount may be slightly get lowered.
Therefore, to reduce the risk of severe injuries in a road accident and get the full amount of claim, always wear a seat belt while the vehicle is in motion.
If you and the other passengers in the vehicle have worn the seat belts and the insurance company pays only the partial claim amount on the grounds that the passengers in the vehicle did not wear their seat belts, then you can contact Insurance Samadhan for help.
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