As we progress more and more into the future of automobiles, a certain demand for an increase in the safety of cars was inevitable and rightly so. Cars today are more sophisticated than ever, more feature-loaded than ever, easier to drive than ever and even with a lot more options than ever. So, it is only fair that today’s cars are safer than ever. In the same wake, the Indian government has announced its decision to make the passenger side airbag mandatory in new cars.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a gazette notification announced the new rule that will require all new vehicles to have dual front airbags as standard fitment from April 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, existing vehicles will be required to be sold with dual airbags from August 31, 2021. Mostly, the lower variants of a few cars don’t feature dual front airbags, like the Maruti Celerio, the Renault Kwid to name a few. This new order might result in a further price hike on lower variants of some models. Already reeling with the BS6 transition and the unprecedented results of a dismal year, the Automakers were forced to hike prices across their portfolio and this might further lead to the same.
According to the previous circular and directive from the government, back in 2019, it was mandatory for all manufacture to feature driver side airbag, high-speed alert, reverse parking sensors and seatbelt warning lamp across all their models.
This move ensured all but the safety of the co-passenger which many thought was compromised, by not making it mandatory. Hence, now the government will make appropriate amends and make it mandatory for all cars in India to feature dual front airbags. According to The Times of India, the government’s proposal to implement dual front airbags for both the driver and the co-passenger as a mandatory offering has also been cleared and approved top-most technical committee. Some reports also suggest that a draft of the same notification has been put forth the AIS ( Automotive Industry Standard ) which is the body that looks after the safety features on various vehicles.
A government official was also quoted saying that there will be no sort of compromise on the safety of cars irrespective of their costs. As part of a global consensus, all vehicles should have maximum features to protect the occupants in case of any incidents.