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Nissan-SaveLIFE study finds reality of rear seat-belt use & child road safety in India

Nissan-SaveLIFE study finds reality of rear seat-belt use & child road safety in India

Snapshot: Nearly 64% of parents surveyed consider city roads unsafe for children.

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A new research report by Nissan India and SaveLIFE Foundation caught the attention of a number of Indians who compromise their own and their loved one’s safety, especially children. Released today by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, the study titled ‘Rear seat-belt usage & child road safety in India’, found that over 90% respondents reported not using a rear seat-belt, thereby risking their safety. This was further confirmed through an observational survey, carried out in Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai, which revealed that 98% of respondents were in fact not using their rear seat-belt. Usage of rear seat-belts is very low despite more than 70% of people affirming to the presence of rear seat-belts.

The study also focused on the safety of children during a commute and revealed that two-thirds of respondents believed that Indian roads are unsafe for children. The report also revealed that 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 2017 alone. It means almost 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 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 present law in India. Moreover, 91.4% of people felt the need for a strong child road safety law in India.

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