Plea in HC for deactivating child locks in cabs

Plea in HC for deactivating child locks in cabs

The High Court of Karnataka has sought a response from the state government to a public interest litigation petition for disengaging the child safety lock feature in cabs.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing a petition filed by Dr Hema Divakar who urged the court to ordered the authorities to enforce rules to deactivate the child lock feature to ensure the safety of women passengers.

The petitioner said she was aggrieved by the authorities’ inaction over the safety of women travelling by cabs in Bengaluru and other parts of the state.

The child safety locks are built into rear doors of most cars to prevent rear seat passengers from opening the door while in motion.

The feature, in existence in most cars since the 1980s, aims to give the driver a safe method to prevent children from opening the door.

The child lock feature is activated in a cab as soon as a passenger occupies the rear seat.

It becomes impossible for women to open the door and run out in case of an emergency. As a result, women get trapped inside and are at the mercy of the driver, according to Dr Hema.

The Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, have a provision for a switches/buttons mechanism.

The provision should be amended to add an additional requirement to disengage the child lock feature permanently, the petitioner argued.