Child locks in the backseats of a car are an effective way to ensure that children sitting in the back do not open up the rear passenger doors during the journey. However, like a match brings light to the world and at the same time holds the potential to cause a wildfire, the child lock system was used by people to ensure that the person sitting in their backseat would not be able to exit the car without any help. A recent incident in Bangalore drew the attention of the Government towards another threat to the safety of women when a cab driver misused the child lock facility to harass a woman passenger after turning on the child lock and making sure that the woman was at his mercy.
Following the incident in Bangalore, the Transport Ministry has directed the vehicle and equipment manufacturers to come up with a solution for the problem. The Transport Ministry wants that no commercially registered vehicle leaving a dealership has the facility to child lock the rear passenger seats. This step is necessary for the safety of women, or any passenger for that matter. The issue was discussed with the vehicle and equipment manufacturers during an apex technical committee meeting on Monday and the apex committee set various standards and specifications for vehicles and their parts.
However, it is not possible for the manufacturer to know which of the units would be commercially registered and the sole responsibility would lie on the dealership. Another solution for this problem could be that the passengers could check the child locks before the start of their journey just as another step of precaution. Delhi Government took the initiative of directing the cab owners and drivers to paste clearly visible signs for the passengers to check the child locks before they begin their journey. This norm came into effect last month.