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No plans yet to make airbags mandatory; safety norms will be tightened

No plans yet to make airbags mandatory; safety norms will be tightened
Nikhil Puthran Nikhil Puthran Friday 18 March 2016, 08:40 AM

In the proposal put forward by the government of India, there seems to be a glaring emission – that of making air bags mandatory in all cars currently. But then, the rules are still to be amended to enhance the safety of occupants.

In a written statement to Lok Sabha, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant Geete said, "At present the government does not have any proposal to mandate provision of air bags in every passenger car.” However, he said that the 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.”

From October 1, next year, all new car models have to contain and enhance safety measures for protection of occupants in the event of a lateral collision. The same rule will be applicable for all models (old and new) from October 1, 2019. The government has also laid down some safety standards in favour of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users 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.

Industry experts have added 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. However, in India, under the current available technology it is not possible to meet the frontal crash test norms without air bags.

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.”

The child restraint system has been mandated with effect from October 2015. However, public in general seems to be unaware of it.


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