In 1989, Central Motor Vehicles Rules made it mandatory to wear seat belts under Rule 138. Presently, not only does the driver need to wear seat belts but also the passenger and preferably the passengers at the back seat also. The seat belt, if neglected, does not allow the airbags to provide proper cushion or work as a protective shield for passengers in case of collisions. The seat belt acts as a restraint by keeping the passengers safe and protected. Cars nowadays are equipped with a beeping function for the passenger seats too. If in case the passenger is not wearing their seat belt, the beep continues to ring until the seat belt is fastened.
Seat belt alarm stoppers had started circulating in the market in order to stop the alarm from beeping without fastening the seat belts. A cheat device which drivers & commuters would use, to stay unbuckled and avoid the beeping sound. This was illegal and also, unsafe.
Ban of Seat belt Alarm Stoppers on E-Commerce Platforms
Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Meesho and Shopclues selling the alarm stoppers are now asked to ban the sellers in order to protect the buyers and vehicle users. The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has now issued orders against the sellers and the platforms that promote the selling of the seat belt alarm stoppers. The sellers and platform providers are doing nothing but violating the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 by imposing life threatening tactics, by stopping alarms from beeping by clipping on a dummy. These products can easily affect the lives of people who use cars for commuting or touring.
The worst part about not wearing a seat belt, after losing life, is the hurdle to get an insurance claim. If any accident causes death due to usage of seat belt alarm stoppers, no insurance can be claimed under the motor insurance policies. Only the victim is to be blamed for his/her own death, as they were negligent about not wearing a seat belt, and rather use an alarm stopper.
The CCPA delisted almost 13,118 companies that sold seat belt alarm stoppers. People from ages 18-45 account for 1/3rd of road accidents and most of them are not alive anymore due to the mere fact of not wearing a seat belt.
CCPA and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare along with CCPA has passed an order banning the production and sale of alarm stoppers. In order to fool traffic wardens and policemen, seat belt alarm stoppers were produced by camouflaging them under glass bottle caps or even cigarette lighters. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways said that the government is planning to make it mandatory for the passengers at the back seats to be buckled up too. According to statistics, one person dies every 4 minutes in a road accident in India.
Also read: Rear seatbelts reminder could become compulsory in India