Ride-hailing company Uber has directed all its drivers in India to ensure rear seat belts in their cars are in working condition and accessible to passengers.
- Uber, Ola push rear seat belt usage in their vehicles
- Vehicle owners often put seat covers that conceal seat belts
- Seat belt reminders to become mandatory soon in India
Uber India: Rear seat belts should be accessible to passengers
"To avoid any fines or complaints by riders, please ensure the seat belts on the back seats are accessible and functional," an Uber advisory to its drivers on Tuesday, according to Reuters. The news report also mentions that Uber was conducting checks at airports to ensure its drivers were complying with seat belt norms.
Uber’s arch rival in India, Ola, is also believed to have recently directed its drivers to enforce seat belt rules for all passengers, the report said.
India likely to make rear seat belt reminders compulsory
The development comes amid a growing focus on road safety in India, especially after the recent road accident near Mumbai that resulted in the death of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry. According to reports, he was not wearing a seat belt while seated at the back in a Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV.
As we've reported before, the government is also trying to push through a series of measures to improve road safety in a country that has the world's deadliest roads. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that a draft notification detailing a penalty structure for rear-occupant seat belts in passenger vehicles will be issued soon. India already has rules mandating rear seat passengers to wear seat belts but not many comply.
Additionally, in many cabs and even private vehicles, owners are seen to put seat covers that conceal the seat belts and their anchors, thus leaving no provision for the rear seat passenger to buckle up. Uber, too, in the advisory asked its drivers to remove the seat cover if the belt is hidden underneath it.
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