Government Is Going To Make 6 Airbags Mandatory- Is it convenient?
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Shree Nitin Gadkari in August 2021 had requested all motor manufacturers in India to provide a minimum of 6 airbags as generic safety tools on every version of all car models they manufactured.
The Indian Minister of Road Transport and Highways had this to say in 2021: "I urge automakers to ensure all models have at least six airbags. It will be good for the safety of vehicle users.
Now Time has come to make this decision concrete and compulsory for all automakers in India. We have decided to mandate 4 additional airbags in the M1 vehicle category, two side/side torso airbags, and two side curtains. The occupants seated in front and rear compartments are protected from frontal and lateral accidents. It is a significant move to make automobiles in India more protective than earlier," claimed Gadkari.
To increase safety on our roads, India's central government makes it mandatory for companies to install six airbags in any car with eight seats. This number is set to increase in the future, but for now, it will at least be compulsory to have this necessary amount of safety equipment in your automobile. As mandated by law, new vehicles will be required to have a minimum of six airbags. This is good news for buyers, as the more airbags in the vehicle, the safer it will be.
Six out of eight passenger vehicles in India have already been upgraded to have at least two airbags.
The government has completed it compulsory for all new passenger vehicles to be fitted with at least two airbags. The compulsory need for airbags for the driver was allotted from July 2019, while rule or airbags for the fellow passenger in the front seat has been w.e.f mandatory January 1, 2022.
The government statics show that in 2020 approximately 1.16 lakh people were victims of road accidents on highways in which around 48,000 people lost their lives. Union Minister said that even we also recommend to small cars manufacturer to install airbags so that they can confirm the safety of the driver and passenger.
The Union Minister of Road, Transport and Highways had told that only big cars with high prices come with six airbags while lower-middle-class families generally afford and purchase small vehicles, but due to deficiency of sufficient airbags in these care, there is a higher chance of accidental injuries or death. This increases the risk of death for the smaller car's occupants in case of an accident. Hence minister also proposed to vehicle manufacturers that if they provide airbags in the vehicle, the car price is likely to increase by INR 4000.
Without accident data to support the government's mandate, it isn't easy to know if the decision is correct. We have been making this clear to the ministry, and we hope they will take action on this soon. India is often seen as a country with different rules. But make no mistake; we do have some world-class safety standards too. The use of airbags in the co-driver seat, for example, is mandatory here but not anywhere else. And it's not like India is negligent when it comes to car occupant safety either.
However, It's essential to prioritize people's safety over other kinds. For instance, India needs to focus on pedestrian and two-wheeler safety, which is not common in many other countries. Secondly, car occupant safety should be prioritized because pedestrians and cyclists are at a much higher risk of injury in crashes. Finally, Indian standards for crashed vehicles (saloon cars) are similar. Hence the decision is good, but the government must also make policies for two-wheelers and pedestrian passenger safety.
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