In India, vehicle safety standards have improved in recent years and the government has taken some good safety initiatives to make our roads safer. In July 2019, the government made driver airbags mandatory, as well as some other safety features, for all four-wheel drive vehicles sold in the country. To further improve safety standards, the government has now mandated that passenger airbags be standard equipment on all passenger cars sold in the country.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Motorways (MoRTH) announced in a notice in the Official Gazette that the new rule, according to which all new passenger cars must have two front airbags as standard from April 1, 2021. In the meantime, existing vehicles must be available from August 31, 2021 sold with double airbags. The communication also indicated that the mandate is an important safety feature and is also based on the proposals made by the Road Safety Committee of the Supreme Court.
The MoRTH had previously issued a draft notification of the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) in order to make necessary changes with regard to safety features. In the past, the standards stipulated that an airbag on the driver’s side should be standard equipment in all passenger cars. However, a one-sided airbag does not allow the passenger to be sufficiently safe. This usually results in the passenger being exposed to serious injury or even death in the event of a major accident.
The need for double front airbags has long been advocated by road safety advocates. This is of great advantage, especially in entry-level vehicles, in which manufacturers often do without basic safety features on the basic panels in order to save costs. However, the prices for these variants are expected to be slightly revised.
The announcement goes on to say that the airbag must meet the AIS 145 standard according to the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Some inexpensive inclusions such as speed alarms, reversing sensors and seat belt reminders are already standard on all vehicles. Dual front airbags are a very important safety feature that was previously not required for cars. This new mandate should go a long way towards saving more lives on our roads.