To prevent road accident and for the promotion of passenger safety, the central government of India on 5th March 2021 announced the mandatory provision of dual airbags in all cars which are sold and manufactured in India.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways made this announcement through an official gazette notification mandating airbag for the co-driver in respect of motor vehicles used for the carriage of not more than eight passengers in addition to the driver.
This new mandatory rule is applicable to vehicles manufactured on and after 1st April 2021 in case of new models, & 31st August 2021 in case of existing models.
"The requirement for such airbag shall be as per Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 145 till the corresponding Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specifications are notified under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways tweeted.
According to the transport ministry, this new mandate is based on the suggestions of the Supreme Court Committee on road safety.
According to a report published by Times of India on 29 October 2020, India has been on the top of the list of countries with the highest road fatalities since 2009, when the first Global Status Report on Road was published by WHO where one in every 11 deaths globally, occurred on Indian roads.
Earlier, during the inauguration of a webinar series by road safety body, IRF's India chapter on 'Road safety challenges in India and Preparation of an Action plan, Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highways Minister also said that India stands at number one position in the road accidents in the world and being the transport minister he is serious about the subject.
"Seventy percent of deaths are in working age group of 18 to 45 years old. There are 415 deaths per day in road accidents in India. I would say this scenario is very much serious than COVID-19 pandemic and it is becoming an alarming for us year on year," said Gadkari.