We all know how safety is considered to be the top most priority for our family especially when we go for long drives, maybe a drive to your family home thousands of kilometres away. But still, we manage to buy cars which don’t meet the basic safety requirements. Blame it on the manufacturers, who, on the pretext of cost saving, don’t include safety features in some of their cars. But this is about to be changed.
The Government of India is going to make all cars undergo crash tests before they can ply on the Indian roads. The government has begun consultations with the auto industry to introduce these safety features in a bid to reduce fatalities in road accidents. It will soon be mandatory for auto manufacturers to install air bags and anti-lock braking system (ABS) in all the variants of their cars and not just in top- end or mid variants, which is the current state.
Some auto manufacturers claim that by adding these features to all the variants, the cost will rise substantially, making it expensive for buyers. The cars will undergo a frontal crash test at 56kmph as well as tests for the rear and side. However, the companies claim that vehicles have gone through these tests before, although none of the regulator agencies have such facility to perform these tests. Few companies were left red-faced when Global NCAP transported few cars from India to the UK for crash tests. Except Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo, all other car’ structures proved inadequate. The cars in question are the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Nano and the Hyundai i20.
While enhancing vehicular safety will push prices by nearly 25 per cent , the government wants to ensure that vehicles meet minimum safety standards, for which a 2017 deadline is being discussed, said an official privy to the deliberations. Facilities for frontal crash tests in Pune and Manesar (near Gurgaon) are expected to be in place by December.