While details of the tragic circumstances in which former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry lost his life are yet to be officially stated, it appears passengers in the back seat of the Mercedes were not wearing seatbelts.


About the ‘seat belts’

  • Seat belts came into existence in the late 1800s. Invented by George Cayley, an English aviation innovator, the original purpose behind their creation was to ensure that pilots were kept inside their gliders.
  • It was not until February 10, 1885 that the first patented seat belt came into existence.
  • Created by Edward J Claghorn, it was meant to keep tourists safe in New York City taxis. Ever since, seat belts have gradually made their way into our daily lives and have rightfully become our first line of defence while on the move on roads across the world.


The 3-point seat belt

  • The seat belt as we know it now came into existence in 1959 after Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin invented the V-type three-point seat belt at the behest of Volvo.
  • Up until then, seat belts were two-point lap belts — as we now see in aeroplanes.

Required by the law

  • Rule 138(3) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, makes it mandatory for the rear passengers too to wear seat-belts.
  • Further, non-wearing of seat-belts by the driver or passengers has been made punishable with a fine of one thousand rupees according to Section 194B(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (as amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.