In two separate developments, Ministry of road transport is planning to improve safety standards of Indian cars by notifying auto-makers to fit ‘beeping device’ in vehicles and advance the date for installing airbags by six months
New rules to augment safety standards in cars are in the offing as union ministry of road transport wants automakers to fit “beeping device” in cars that would notify the driver of over-speeding.
Sources from the ministry informed Moneycontrol that a draft notification for “beeping device”, to be installed in cars, is already in place and a final notification should follow soon.
“If a car goes beyond a particular speed, say 80 kilometer per hour (Kmph), then a beep will go on every minute so as to alert the driver that (s)he is over speeding,” said sources. “Also, a continuous beep will go beyond 120 Kmph”.
Improving road safety has been one of the prime focus of union minister Nitin Gadkari who has reiterated that he is "sensitive towards it" on many occasions.
Ministry’s attention to curb over-speeding assumes importance as most accidents in 2016 were due to the same reason.
As per the data, 84 percent of the accidents occur due to driver’s fault, of which 66.5 percent of accidents happen due to over-speeding. There were 2,68,341 reported cases of accidents attributed to it which took life in 61 percent cases.
“Most of the fatal accidents occur due to over speeding. A vehicle moving on high speed will have greater impact during the accident and hence may cause more injuries,” reads the official report by the government.
The number, however, goes down when total accidents (4,80,652) are taken into account. The share of accidents due to over speeding stands at 55.9 per cent, of which fatal accidents were 49 percent.
In another development, the ministry is also planning to bring notification for car makers to install airbags in new cars from April 2019 instead of October 2019. The government, however, says that it has not “mandated any date” for airbags.
“We have not mandated any date for air bags,” said an official from the ministry.
He said that advancing the date for installing airbags in cars was decided keeping in mind the “safety” of the passengers, especially drivers. Accidents due to “mechanical defect” in vehicles stood at 1.4 percent of total accidents in 2016.
“The industry is saying that we had asked to implement crash norms by Oct 2019. But to meet crash norms, they need air bags. We have, however, just asked them to install air bags six months earlier…,” the official said. He said that the airbags are to be fit at driver’s side initially.
Presently, Indian automakers are under no legal obligation to fit airbags in vehicles.As per Central Motor Vehicle Regulations (CMVR), set out by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), all new cars are expected to undergo crash tests from October 2017. This implies that cars launched post October 1, 2017 need approved certification for crash. Existing car models, however, will have to comply by safety standards by October 1, 2019.