Govt working on making six airbags compulsory in eight-seater vehicles: Gadkari
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the government is trying to make it mandatory for the carmakers to provide at least six airbags in eight-seater vehicles from October for enhanced safety of passengers and driver. An airbag acts as a vehicle occupant-restraint system which pops up between the driver and the vehicle's dashboard during a collision, thus preventing serious injuries.
The transport ministry, earlier this year, issued a statement that in order to enhance the safety of occupants of the motor vehicle against lateral impact, the safety norms will be amended under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989. As per a draft notification issued on January 14, 2022, vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, will need to be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions.
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, road crashes in 2021 claimed over 1.55 lakh lives, making it an average of 426 daily lives or 18 every lives every single hour, which is the highest death figures recorded in any calendar year so far.
Last year, in an interview, the transport minister had said that small cars, mostly purchased by lower middle-class people, should also have an adequate number of airbags and had expressed concern that why automakers are providing eight airbags only in big cars bought by rich people.
His remarks had come against the backdrop of the automobile industry raising concerns that high taxation and stricter safety and emission norms for vehicles have made their products expensive. “If their car won't have airbags and when accidents happen, then it may result in deaths. So, I appeal to all car manufacturers to provide a minimum of six airbags across all variants," the minister had said.
(with inputs from PTI)