The new cars, wanting to make a debut in India, will now have to be equipped with two airbags as per the decision finalised by the government of India on Friday. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a gazette notification said that new cars from April 1, 2021, will have to have both driving side and passenger-side airbags. Meanwhile, existing vehicles will be required to be sold with dual airbags from August 31, 2021.
While the decision will surely boost the safety standards of cars in India and help the government reach its target of decreasing road accidents by half in the coming years, it, on the other hand, will also increase the cost of cars too.
The notification further added that the mandate was an important safety feature and is in line with the order of the Supreme Court. The need for double airbags in Indian cars is a long pending mandation missing out on which makes Indian cars lag safety standards.
The notification further said that the airbag will need to meet the AIS 145 standard under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications.
To note, in India, as many as 1.5-lakh people die in road accidents every year. The number is very high when compared with the annual number of accidents happening in other countries. A whopping 61% of these accidents happen in a mere 5% of spots. Also, as per a 2018 report by the World Health Organization, India topped the world in deaths by road accidents, with more than 400 fatalities per day.
The staggering data has promoted the government to take steps to bring down such accidents by half in the country in the next 3-4 years.