Seat Belts for the Front and Rear Passengers in a Car!
by Elizabeth Menon

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Seat Belts for the Front and Rear Passengers in a Car!

It is a sad decision by the Government of Kerala not to make the seat belts compulsory for all passengers travelling in a car! It would have been an example to the rest of india, showing that the 'Literacy status of 100%' in Kerala does mean something! I just wonder if the lives of people are not important for our government, as seat belts are very important when it comes to car safety! They are safety harnesses or 'Safety belts' that are designed to secure passengers in case of collisions or sudden stops.Wearing seatbelt by the rear passengers also is mandatory all over the world where safety is important and it is proven beyond doubt that it saves lives, prevents backache and protects the spine, especially the neck while applying sudden brakes, prevents multiple injuries or deaths while being thrown over in case of an accident, etc! There was a time when we only had few cars on the road and we did not have safety devices like the seat belts or the air bags, but technology has moved forward. It is important that we acknowledge the facilities available for our safety and make use of them instead of crucifying the Police Officers who are only trying to save our lives or prevent injuries to those travelling in a car!

It would be Kerala's loss if Rishi Raj Singh leaves, and the public will never forgive those responsible! The Commissioner was only implementing the law, a law that is already implemented worldwide, and as the Commissioner of Transport, he does not need to take permission from the Government! The comments made by a Member of the Legislative Assembly is crude and vulgar, insulting to the core, which demands a public apology, especially when it was directed at an upright IPS Officer like Rishi Raj Singh, who has done so much for saving lives on our roads! One would expect certain amount of basic courtesy and a language that is socially acceptable from our elected members in the Assembly! And the said member was not even aware that seat belts were mandatory in the world outside of India!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 13,000 people are saved every year by seat belts.They also reduce the risk of death for passengers by almost 50 percent in vehicle accidents. I wonder if they took medical advise before making such a terrible decision! The best seat belt should fit you perfectly -- the seat belts should fit across your shoulders and the middle of your chest. If you want to have a lap belt, it should go below your stomach and across your hips. For better and more adjustable seat belts, car dealers provide seat belt adjusters -- these guidelines also apply to children!

I think it is the fear of the unknown, as most people think that applying seat belts is uncomfortable, and therefore the protests, but it makes car journeys a pleasure, as the passengers are not moved about on the seats or pushed forward, thereby protecting their back, neck, etc! Even my mother who is 85 years found it very comfortable to wear the seat belt! She said the belt supported her back as it prevented her from moving forward while the car turned round the corners and bends during a three hour journey! The seat belt also helps people with back and neck problems. And now, it is for the people to protect themselves by wearing the seat belts in both the front and the rear seats!

It is our duty to ensure that the car drivers, taxi and private, and the other passengers in the car are also wearing seat belts before starting the car! It is also important to use individual towels to cover the rear seats so that the seat belt can be inserted properly, which is very important as it is not for show! (Most cars in Kerala have large towels covering the whole of the seat at the back, making it impossible to put the seat belts!) Only God can help us if the members of the Legislative Assembly do not keep up with the technologies that help people, and is inexcusable if they are not aware of simple things like the mandatory use of seat belts anywhere else in the world! I hope people will realise the benefits and start using the seat belts!

Buckle up while travelling in a car, and helmets while riding a two-wheeler -- for the pillion too! And No Excuses, Please!

© E Menon



Thank you for your valuable comments and taking the time to write!
07/24/2014 - 08:18
Well written Omana.I fully agree with you.
07/24/2014 - 06:21
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