Nitin Gadkari Declares Six-Airbag Requirement for Cars Will Not Be Made Mandatory
The Union Transport Minister announced that the government will not enforce the mandatory requirement of six airbags in passenger cars in India
The Union Transport Minister announced that the government will not enforce the mandatory requirement of six airbags in passenger cars in India, citing the introduction of new crash test regulations earlier this year. Instead, the government has introduced the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) regime, which stipulates the need for six airbags to achieve a 5-star safety rating in cars. This move is expected to encourage car companies to offer six airbags as a standard feature without the need for mandatory enforcement.
Nitin Gadkari had previously stated that the rule for six airbags would be mandatory for all passenger cars from October 1, 2023, but due to opposition from certain automakers, the proposal was not finalized. He now believes that there is no necessity to make it compulsory, as consumer preferences for safety features are evolving.
The Minister emphasized the importance of changing human behavior to reduce road accidents, highlighting issues such as low helmet usage, disregard for zebra crossings, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Gadkari also stressed the need for automated driver license systems and encouraged automakers to establish scrappage centers, fitness and driving training facilities, and license centers to enhance road safety.
He further mentioned the transition from BS4 to BS6 emission norms in India and expressed the country's commitment to achieving world-class standards in consultation with the industry. Gadkari emphasized the importance of finding economically viable and sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by fossil fuel imports in India's transportation system.
While the government's proposal for additional airbags faced resistance from the auto industry due to concerns about increased costs, Gadkari's latest stance suggests that consumer demand for safety features may naturally drive the adoption of six airbags in vehicles.