WHO data says that the use of seat belts and helmets can reduce serious fatal injuries and deaths by half.
According to the report of the Union Road Transport Ministry, a minimum of 8 out of every 10 car occupants (around 83%) who were not wearing seatbelts, were killed in accidents across India in 2021. The report also highlights that two out of every three two-wheeler riders who died in road accidents were not wearing helmets.
Deaths of Car Occupants
The report titled “Road Accidents in India 2021” highlights that 16,397 out of the total 19,811 car occupants killed last year were not wearing their seatbelts. Out of the above-mentioned deaths, 8,438 victims of accidents were drivers while the remaining 7,965 were passengers. The report is based on the data provided by state police departments.
The death rate of car occupants was reported the maximum in Uttar Pradesh at 3,863, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 1,737 and then 1,370 in Rajasthan.
After the tragic death of industrialist Cyrus Mistry in a car crash, on September 4th, the issue of most rear-seat passengers not wearing seatbelts came into the highlight.
Deaths of Two-Wheeler Riders
According to one of the reports of the Union road ministry, out of 69,385 two-wheeler riders, nearly 47,000 people who were killed last year in accidents were not wearing helmets.
The maximum number of deaths of two-wheeler riders for not wearing helmets has been recorded the maximum in Uttar Pradesh at 6,445, followed by Tamil Nadu at 5,888 and then by Maharashtra at 4,966.
Deaths on National Highways
During the last year, the share of two-wheeler riders’ deaths in the total road fatalities was 45.1%. Among these, 30% (22,786) have been recorded on National Highways (NHs). 1,667 out of 4,702 cyclists’ deaths too occurred on National Highways.
Also, the cases of pedestrian deaths increased to a high number of 29,124. Out of these deaths, 9462 were reported on the National Highways network.
The Union road transport ministry’s report expresses serious concerns over the increased number of two-wheeler and pedestrian deaths.
Central Motor Vehicles Act
The Central Motor Vehicles Act was passed in 1988 by the Parliament of India. It regulates all the aspects of road transport vehicles. This act came into force on the 1st of July, 1989.
According to Section 194 (b) (1) of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, if any person driving without a seat belt or carrying passengers without wearing seat belts is found then they will be liable for punishment.
The Central Motor Vehicle Act has made it mandatory for all two-wheeler occupants including pillion riders, to wear a helmet which is ISI certified. It has provisions for all the traffic regulations, insurance, registration, permits and penalties.