The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued Notice to the Secretary, Transport Department on a PIL seeking taking of necessary steps to provide provision for seat belt for drivers of the state transport buses.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice K Ravichandra Babu also issued notices to the Managing Directors of both Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC), returnable within four weeks, on a petition filed by advocate I Prakash Raj.
The petitioner submitted that Chennai traffic police had recently made it mandatory for drivers and passengers in the front seat to wear seat belts. They also levied a fine of Rs 100 for the first time violation and Rs 300 for the second time.
He said he had observed during his travel by MTC and SETC buses that drivers do not wear seat belts and there was no provision for that in their seats.
Raj also alleged that there were no fire extinguishers in almost all buses.
He contended that the Central Motor Rules has clearly stated that vehicles exceeding 500 CC (except auto rickshaw) should be fitted with seat belts for front facing passenger seats, which was not there in these buses.
The petitioner alleged that traffic police act against private vehicle owners if they do not wear belts, but not against MTC and SETC drivers. Hence he prayed for a direction to the authorities to take steps to provide provisions for seat belt in these transport corporations.