The Highway and Road Transport Ministry in India has issued an immediate ban on bull bars in cars in India. The order issued by Priyank Bharti, director, MVL under MoRTH ministry, states that, “The fitment of crash guards/bull bar is in contravention of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.” Violators will attract penalty under Section 190 and Section 191 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The penalty amount ranges between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 or imprisonment from three months to three years. Under the Motor Vehicles Act rules, vehicles cannot be altered to specifications other than the ones originally fitted by the manufacturer. The government move aims at reducing the risk of injury to pedestrians and vehicle occupants during an impact. Additionally, reports indicate these unauthorized fittings can in fact reduce the effectiveness of safety systems which is built into the car’s structure. The bull bars or crash bar as it is popular known, directly passes the crash energy to the body structure rather than it being dispersed through the car's crumple zone.
Modern day cars are designed to absorb/re-channel forces in an event of a crash but the bull bars can cause airbags to malfunction. Moreover, the front-end is designed to meet pedestrian safety. The fitment of bull bars skips all of that and can cause serious injuries to the occupants or pedestrian.