Indian Government to tighten safety norms; no mention of mandatory airbags yet

Posted on: March 18, 2016, by :
Indian Government to tighten safety norms; no mention of mandatory airbags yet

The government of India will soon bring new rules that shall enhance the safety of car occupants. However, as per a recent proposal that was put forward by the government, there seems to be a glaring emission – that of making airbags mandatory in all cars currently.

As per regulations, by October 1, 2017, all new car models need to offer enhanced safety features for protecting occupants in case of a lateral collision. This rule will be applicable for all old as well as models from the said date. In a written statement to Lok Sabha, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant Geete stated, “At present the government does not have any proposal to mandate provision of airbags in every passenger car.”

To protect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, the government has also laid down some safety standards that would protect them in the event of a collision. These rules will have to be followed in all new cars from October 1, 2018 while the rest of the industry needs to catch up by October 1, 2020. Geete, further added that, “MoRTH, which administers Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1988/Central Motor Vehicles Rule 1989, has mandated certain safety provisions. The provisions include protection of occupants in the event of an offset frontal collision and requirements for behaviour of steering mechanism in a head-on collision, applicable for all new models from October 1, 2017 and all models from October 1, 2019.”

Though the public may be unaware about it, the child restraint system has been mandated with effect from October 2015. Geete further said that: “Some other measures have already been taken up to ensure the safety of occupants of cars. The seat belt regulation and the seat belt anchorage regulation has already been made mandatory with effect from April 2005.”

In India, with the current technology being used, it is not possible to meet frontal crash test norms without airbags. As for the international market, experts have cited that in other parts of the world too the government does not mandate a technology and it is up to the automobile companies to come up with measures to meet the safety norms.