Functional airbags in cars could have saved over 13,000 lives in 2020: Gadkari
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, informed that as many as 13,022 human lives could have been saved in the country in 2020 if there were functional airbags installed in cars. He added that a total of 8,598 people that died after head-on collisions of vehicles in the same year could have been saved with the use of airbags.
As many as 25,289 people were killed in head-on collisions in 2020, of which 30 per cent of lives in frontal collisions could be saved by proper deployment of airbags. Similarly, 14,271 lives were lost due to side collisions and 31 per cent of those or 4,424 lives could have been saved with the use of side airbags. “Every year, we face five lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths. For that reason, we are now taking a number of measures," Gadkari said.
He also highlighted that new norms that are being introduced to ensure the safety of vehicle users. "Six airbags are now mandatory. We have taken a decision to make it mandatory for the economy models also," he said. Additionally, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is working on a proposal in consultation with the stakeholders to formulate a plan which would test and assess the star rating of a car under the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP).
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This programme, which will allocate a rating of one to five stars, will encourage auto manufacturers to voluntarily participate in a safety-testing assessment programme and incorporate higher safety levels in new car models with regard to various identified parameters. “We want to protect the lives of people and that is why we are going to start this rating system," the minister said.
(with inputs from PTI)