Safety and security of the passengers and the pedestrians have been a priority for everyone around the globe. This includes not only car buyers, but also the government and technical bodies related to the automobile industry. The push has been especially strong recently with more and more safety features and equipment becoming standardized for every passenger car. This is true even for economy cars, which is an exceptionally big and growing market in India. The automobile industry in India is growing at a rapid pace and more and more people are buying entry-level economy cars.
These cars do have some safety features, thanks to the laws brought in by the government in July 2019. According to these new regulations, every passenger car manufactured in India must have the driver-side airbag, seat belt warning, reverse parking sensors and speed alert as standard across all variants. After having successfully implemented this change, the government now proposed the introduction of the passenger-side airbag as standard for all vehicles.
Amendment to the Automotive Industry Standard
The draft was presented before the top-most technical authority to amend the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS). AIS is responsible for the safety features in every vehicle in India. It is also important to notice here that the driver-side airbag has become standard in the industry. But the passenger side becomes extremely vulnerable during an accident. To enhance the overall safety of the vehicles, this amendment is proposed by the government.
Another important feature of this proposal is the removal of child locks in commercial vehicles. Earlier, it was left at the driver’s disposal, that for commercial use the child-locks should not be enabled. But now the proposal is to do away with the child locks completely for commercial use.
This is because of safety concerns regarding the backseat passenger. If the rear passenger wanted to exit the vehicle under any circumstance, it is not possible with the child lock on. Sometimes it can become really crucial to get out of the vehicle. For example, in case of an accident or fire hazards or any such unfortunate incident. That is why the proposition is also to remove it completely for commercial vehicles.
When will this amendment come into effect?
“There is a consensus across the globe that vehicles should have maximum features to protect the occupants in case of a crash. We have also made it clear that there won’t be any compromise on safety features irrespective of cost,” The Times of India quoted a government official.
The Road Transport Ministry is contemplating a timeline after which this amendment must be available in every vehicle manufactured and sold in India. According to the industry experts, a time frame of one year is enough for the carmakers to arrange for this feature.
We welcome these initiatives from the government and want even more safety features to become standardized in times to come. There are thousands of road accidents globally every year and countless people lose their lives. A lot of times these could’ve been saved if the vehicles had more safety features. Therefore, it is time to amend our laws and make vehicles a safer place to be.