Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday announced the government’s plan to mandate the automakers to provide at least 6 airbags in motor vehicles with the capacity of up to 8 passengers.
Gadkari was speaking at Intel India’s Safety Pioneers Conference 2022,”We have decided to make it mandatory to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles… We want to save the lives of the people. Around 1.5 lakh people are killed in 5 lakh accidents across the country.”
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in its bid to enhance road safety in India, announced amendments to Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), 1989.
A draft notification issued on January 14, mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with 2 side/side torso airbags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and 2 side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions.
The Road Transport and Highways Minister went on to call out “some carmakers” who have been reluctant to the idea of providing 6 airbags in their cars as it will further increase the production cost, hence depriving the middle-income groups the access to their products.
Gadkari said, “Now some of the companies are making cars in India which are not up to the international standard. But they are making cars of the same model, which comply with the international standard, for the foreign market. I can never understand this. We need to understand the importance of such decisions. When India reports maximum road crashes and deaths, why are they not taking it seriously?” As the government continues to push for enhanced road safety, the Supreme Court of India in a recent verdict, ruled that carmakers will be liable to pay damages if airbags don’t deploy at the time of accidents.