Airbags, other safety features mandatory for new cars from October 2017

index.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Nov 10, 2016

NEW DELHI: Carmakers will have to provide airbags, vehicle reverse gear sensors for child pedestrian safety, speed-warning systems and seatbelt reminder system as standard equipment from October 2017.

Speed alert will warn vehicles if they exceed 80 km per hour and then a continuous audio alert if speed exceeds 100 kmph, the road transport and highways ministry said in a draft notification issued on Wednesday.

The move will ensure that Indian cars are on par with those sold globally as far as safety parameters are concerned. The government has also sought comments from the auto companies for the same. “These four safety features would be mandatory for all car models.

A timeline has been set for auto companies that they would have to abide by,” a senior government official told ET. Currently, few auto companies provide airbags and ABS in entry level models. According to the government’s rough estimate, including these two features would add 10% to the cost of the base model.

The government plans to set up its own safety authority, Bharat National Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), which will rate vehicles on safety. India will also have a rating system for cars based on fuel efficiency. Bharat NCAP will also mandate the front of the vehicle be designed in such a way that injury to pedestrians is minimised.

The road transport and highways ministry has set October 2017 as the deadline for new model cars to pass minimum frontal and side crash tests besides pedestrian protection tests. The frontal crash tests will be at 64 kmph, while the speed norm set for side crash tests is 50 kmph. India has among the highest motoring accident rates in the world and part of this stems from companies producing vehicles without safety features for price-conscious buyers.

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