In order to improve the safety of the passengers in the vehicle, it has been decided to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989 to enhance the safety ‘features’, the ministry said in a statement.
In a notification issued on January 14, the ministry said that it will be mandatory to install six airbags in M1 class vehicles manufactured from October 1, 2022. In the event of an accident, the airbag acts as a ‘shield’ and protects the driver from hitting the dashboard.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a series of tweets that airbags in the driver’s seat have been made mandatory from July 1, 2019. At the same time, airbags for the driver’s side seat have been made mandatory from January 1, 2022.
Gadkari said, “For the safety of people in vehicles carrying eight passengers, I have approved the draft GSR notification. With this, a minimum of six airbags will be mandatory in such vehicles.” GSR refers to general statutory rules.
He said that it has been decided to make four additional airbags mandatory in the M1 vehicle class to protect the front and rear passengers from colliding with each other in case of an accident.
Gadkari said, “Two side/side torso airbags and two side curtain/tube airbags protect all passengers in the vehicle. This is an important step towards making motor vehicles safer in the country.
According to the latest government data, a total of 1,16,496 road accidents took place on National Highways (NHs) including expressways in 2020, in which 47,984 people lost their lives.
Last year, Gadkari told PTI in an interview that people from the lower middle income group buy small cars. They should also have a sufficient number of airbags. He had said, “Automobile companies give eight airbags in big cars, these cars are bought by rich people.”
He urged all automakers to provide at least six airbags in all variants of vehicles.