In a surprisingly new move by the new government, India has made anti-lock braking system (ABS) compulsory on all new models of commercial vehicles starting April 2015.
ABS system prevents the wheels from locking up and avoids uncontrolled skidding. It’s a process of gradual braking which happens through the vehicles electronic control unit which unlocks the wheels and allows traction control by electronic distribution of pressure to wheels.
India tops the list for deadly road accidents globally. About 1.42 lakh people were killed in 2012 in about five lakh accidents. The number comes up to one death on the roads in about every four minutes. Trucks, buses and multi-axle tractor-trailers were involved in more than 30% of the reported accidents. They are deadly given the sheer size of the vehicle.
Industry data suggests that 77% of the accidents were caused because of collision, loss of control or lane departure. The government issued a notification this month to make ABS compulsory for trucks and buses. Manufacturers will get another six months to fit ABS on new vehicles sold under existing models.
After the compulsion of seat belts in late 1990s, ABS is the second major safety equipment that is made compulsory on vehicles in India.
However, addition of ABS system will result in rise in prices of the commercial vehicles. According to technical experts working with manufacturers, the cost of ABS could be Rs 50,000-Rs 75,000, depending on the model and type of the vehicle.
“Customers may end up paying Rs 1 lakh extra on new vehicles with this safety package,” said a senior R&D engineer working with a top commercial vehicle maker who didn’t want to be named.
The ministry of road transport and highways is also contemplating devices like airbags, traction control and heads up display, which beams data on to the windscreen so that the driver doesn’t have to look away from his usual viewpoint.
What do you think of the step of mandating ABS system on commercial vehicles? Moreover, do you think ABS should be mandatory on passenger vehicles as well? Share your thoughts through comments below.
Source: ET Auto