As cases of violence against women in child locked cabs and taxis continue to rise, the Central Motor Vehicles Rules’ Technical Standing Committee (CMVR-TSC) is planning a crucial move to make these commercial vehicles safe for women passengers.
According to a report in The Times of India, the government’s automobile standard making panel is looking forward to removing the child lock system in commercial vehicles.
As per the minutes of the meeting held by the CMVR-TSC, the automobile industry will develop a new latch for these vehicles without child locks in the next one year. These new latches will be installed at the dealer’s end since it can be difficult for the car manufacturers to determine what vehicles will be used for commercial purposes.
Speaking to the publication, an automobile expert who attended this meeting added that the feature would only be available in taxis and cabs.
“While all new vehicles will get them, there will be a provision for replacing the existing child lock in already registered vehicles. The regional transport office (RTO) concerned, which registers vehicles, will be responsible to see that such (commercial) vehicles don’t have child lock,” he added.
And before you think that the removal of child locks in cabs can be a concern to ensure the safety of children, it is important to note that the decision has been made on the assumption that children always travel with an adult, who can ensure their safety.
If the safety of children in your private car concerns you, do note that the rule is not applicable to private cars.
RTOs can ensure that commercial vehicles remove child locks when they come for their annual fitness renewal certificate by denying permissions to those that have not done away with the child lock and fixed the new latch.
The move may finally come as a sigh of relief after several gory instances of crimes against women in cabs have came to light in the last one year.
Recently, a Bengaluru woman showed exemplary courage after she foiled an Ola cabbie’s attempt at kidnapping her. You can read her story plus take a look at additional safety measures for women passengers travelling alone in cabs here.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)