About 91.2% children who sit at the back neither use rear seat belts nor a child seat in India says the recently conducted study.
A recently conducted research report by Nissan India and SaveLIFE Foundation brings to light a large number of Indians, who, due to a result of their ignorance, are not paying attention to their as well as their younger ones’ safety of roads. The research titled “Rear Seat-Belt Usage and Child Road Safety in India”, states that more than 90% of the respondents confirmed to not using a rear seat belt and hence putting the life on the line. The same was confirmed through an ‘observational survey’ conducted at select locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Kolkata and Lucknow. About 98% of respondents were found not using the rear seat belts despite 70% out of them stating that they are aware of the presence of rear seat belts in their vehicles.
The study, which also focuses on evaluating the safety of children during commute further reveals that about 64% of the respondents believe that Indian roads are not safe for children. Furthermore, despite 92.8% of respondents reported being aware of the safety benefits of child helmets, only 20.1% of respondents owned a child helmet. This becomes especially relevant in light of the latest data released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) according to which 9,408 children lost their lives to road crashes in the year 2017 alone. This translates to nearly 26 child deaths on Indian roads every day.
With its findings, the report also builds a strong case for a comprehensive national Road Safety law, or the passage of Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill to bridge the policy-implementation gap and build a robust enforcement mechanism for better compliance. The need for both, better policy awareness and implementation, is evident in the report’s findings; only 27.7% of respondents were aware that rear seat-belt usage is already mandated under the current law in India. Further, 91.4% of respondents felt the need for a strong child road safety law in India.
The ‘Rear Seat Belt Usage and Child Road Safety in India’ study, conducted by research firm MDRA for Nissan India and SaveLIFE Foundation, covered 11 Indian cities and recorded responses through 6,306 face-to-face interviews, 100 in-depth expert interviews, two focused group discussions and on-site observations to gauge compliance of CBSE School Bus guidelines as well as usage of rear seat belts.