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Old 17th March 2016, 13:46   #1
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Default Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has stated that there are currently no plans to make airbags mandatory in passenger vehicles. That being said, the government has stated that safety standards will be made more stringent for enhanced occupant protection.

According to a report by ET Auto, safety regulations will be altered to include provisions for the protection of occupants in the event of frontal, frontal offset and lateral collisions and the norms will also stipulate how the steering mechanism should behave in a head-on collision. These regulations will be applicable for all new models from October 1, 2017 and all existing models from October 1, 2019.

The government has also laid down pedestrian safety standards that new models will have to meet from October 1, 2018. The same rules will be applicable for all existing models by October 1, 2020.

Industry experts say that similar rules exist in other markets as well, where the government does set the safety standards, but does not explicitly state the technologies to be employed. However, given the standards that manufacturers will have to meet, it looks like they will have no choice but to offer airbags, simply because it won't be possible to meet the set norms (particularly for frontal crash tests) without them.

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Old 17th March 2016, 14:25   #2
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

This is excellent news. But as is already pointed out innumerable times on this forum before, avoiding an accident altogether is always a better option. Safer cars will no doubt protect lives, but the best protection of life and property will come from better road safety standards (read road markings, lesser no. of potholes, clear roads with no left over construction material lying around, etc.) and improved driver training. Period.
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Old 17th March 2016, 15:50   #3
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Excellent News! Government has really played well with the new proposed regulations. By not enforcing air bags as a mandatory accessory and still expecting a good frontal crash result is a good ploy. If they had asked the air bags to be mandatory, then all the car companies would have happily put it and pass the expenses to us consumers. Now it is a bit tricky situation where they most cars do not have them as a standard and have as an added feature. My only concern is regarding the existing vehicle and it's deadline of 2019. is it really very easy to enforce such a rule? I am sure politicians will make a beeline opposing this as it will result in extra cost to customers and god forbid it might turn out to be even an election issue. There might be a possibility car lobbyists will also work in cahoot with the politicians to push and delay it.
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Old 17th March 2016, 16:00   #4
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Airbags not being mandatory implies that a car will straightaway not be failed solely on the reason that it has no airbags, but its structural rigidity rating will hold and will be portrayed via its star rating.

However, this decision worries me into thinking whether our crash testing program will be stringent enough or if strong car lobbies will be able to sway the government and dilute the efficacy of this new program.

The fact remains, a large number of cars in India are structurally unsound. I'm not sure whether manufacturers will change their manufacturing processes or those cars will be banned, but I just hope that they are no loopholes through which manufacturers can continue selling these deathtraps.

I'm not sure why the government is not directly adapting Global NCAP standards but is trying to change them. I believe this increases the chances of there being such loopholes, and the program not succeeding in achieving its essential aim.

I am still hoping for the best, which is a transparent crash testing program that robs the manufacturers of their shady practices and empowers the buyers by providing them with full and complete information.

If this crash testing program is successful, one thing I am certain of is that the Indian car market dynamic will change significantly. Companies that rule the roost today might end up paying big time for adopting practices to increase their saleability as opposed to providing well engineered products.

Last edited by prakhar1998 : 17th March 2016 at 16:02.
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Old 17th March 2016, 17:42   #5
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Regulations are one thing. But the ultimate choice of buying the right sort of car for one's self and family rests with one.
So as consumers evolve, Im sure more and more of them will start buying the better variants with more safety kit.
You can't force feed these decisions because in a country like ours there will always be those budget conscious first time car buyers who will count every paisa...
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Old 17th March 2016, 19:03   #6
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Since structural rigidity is a primary concern, it is a good move from that perspective. Probably a Step 0 in the right direction.
They could have still mandated Airbags, lets see how the market reacts and if the buying pattern changes (if buyers insist on buying cars with Airbags and ABS).
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Old 17th March 2016, 20:51   #7
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

All will depend on what the government decides as the parameters of minimum safety for Indian cars. The powerful car manufacturers lobby will try its best to dilute the safety norms as much as it can so only a strong government can get us a meaningful law this time.

"Harmonisation of national regulations of safety standards for passenger cars with UN-ECE regulations" - sounds good. Lets wait and see what the gov come up with.
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Old 18th March 2016, 02:13   #8
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Default re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

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Originally Posted by RaghuVis View Post
By not enforcing air bags as a mandatory accessory and still expecting a good frontal crash result is a good ploy. If they had asked the air bags to be mandatory, then all the car companies would have happily put it and pass the expenses to us consumers.
This is indeed a welcome relief.

The whole NCAP show on Polo/ Figo / Swift / Datsun was indeed highlighting how important the structural integrity of a car was.

But in our market, it somehow became focused on airbags alone. People were simply judging a car with airbags as 'safer' without bothering about how sound the car's structure was. If the Government also played to the airbag piper, manufacturers would have got away by simply fitting a couple of balloons up front.
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Old 19th March 2016, 19:52   #9
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaghuVis View Post
Excellent News! Government has really played well with the new proposed regulations. By not enforcing air bags as a mandatory accessory and still expecting a good frontal crash result is a good ploy. If they had asked the air bags to be mandatory, then all the car companies would have happily put it and pass the expenses to us consumers. Now it is a bit tricky situation where they most cars do not have them as a standard and have as an added feature. My only concern is regarding the existing vehicle and it's deadline of 2019. is it really very easy to enforce such a rule? I am sure politicians will make a beeline opposing this as it will result in extra cost to customers and god forbid it might turn out to be even an election issue. There might be a possibility car lobbyists will also work in cahoot with the politicians to push and delay it.
Current models deadline of 2019 doesn't mean exiting cars owned by consumers would have to be modified. It means exiting models of manufacturers that are sold after the 2019 deadline. As an example, if the deadline had been 2015 then models like the Maruti Swift would have had till 2019 to comply as it was an exiting model but the new launches like Tata Zest or Bolt and Hyundai Creta would have had to comply by 2015 as they were new models.
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Old 7th June 2016, 08:23   #10
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Automakers may face Rs 100 cr fine for violating safety rules

The new Road Safety Bill may also provide for a penalty of up to Rs 5,000 on individuals for use of unauthorised components and other manufacturing or maintenance-related violations, such as in fog lights, pressure horns, extra lights, roof-top carriers and metallic protectors

Quote:
The dealers and vehicle body builders would face a fine of up to Rs one lakh per vehicle for such offences. Besides, the component dealers would be fined up to Rs one lakh for "selling non-approved critical safety components for vehicles".
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The panel has unanimously agreed to framing strict and steeper penalties that include imprisonment for offences like driving by minors, crossing speed limits, drunk driving, talking over phone while driving and jumping traffic lights.
It also recommends jail of up to a year in addition to a penalty of Rs 10,000 for those driving with fake licences -- up from the current penalty provision of Rs 500 and a maximum jail term of three months.
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In case of juvenile drivers, the owner of the vehicle or the driver's guardian will face stricter penalties of up to three years in jail and fine of up to Rs 20,000, while their vehicle registration certificate may also be cancelled.
The final recommendations are expected to be in place this month.

http://auto.economictimes.indiatimes...rules/52605146

Last edited by volkman10 : 7th June 2016 at 08:26.
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Old 7th June 2016, 09:35   #11
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Safety norms without directly referencing the technology (like airbags) is a good move, and the correct way to write regulation/legislation, IMHO.
Similarly, enhancing fines for traffic offences to make them more of a deterrent is also good.
BUT, there is one violation that is missing from this list, which causes a LOT of life lost on the roads - driving on the wrong side! Why isn't this called out as a serious offence to be fined heavily?

Just hope traffic rule enforcement is done strictly. My grandson will die with the same hope, methinks.
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Old 7th June 2016, 23:19   #12
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

A wasted effort again.

I understand that crash tests aren't compulsory. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Irrespective of the case, all they need to do is have a sticker with crash safety rating stuck on windows of all cars in a dealership and regulate that this practice happens. Just educate the public with newspaper and TV ads. Cars makers will outdo each other to get the best safety ratings.

Refer this post:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post3976919 (More Indian cars face Global NCAP crash tests. Edit: ZERO for all)

Most manufacturers shouldn't have any problems to make safer cars. They already have designs ready for compliance with Euro and ASEAN NCAP norms.

I think government should also work at overhauling the RTO system and teach new drivers about laws, have a driving test etc. I've heard praises about Jakarta's people being extremely disciplined despite the horrendous traffic jams. (There are a few bad eggs though)

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 7th June 2016 at 23:25.
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Old 8th June 2016, 06:44   #13
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

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I understand that crash tests aren't compulsory.
How did you come to this conclusion?!
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Old 8th June 2016, 07:01   #14
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

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How did you come to this conclusion?!
There was some report suggesting it will be optional. I remember reading it on Team BHP. It might not be the case.
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Old 8th June 2016, 09:41   #15
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Default Re: Government will make safety norms more stringent, but no plans to make airbags mandatory

Remember the actual price addition due to airbags would be far less that what the manufacturers try and scare us with. On thing though : We have a habit of carrying kids in the front seats and a bag inflation can be fatal for the hapless child/infant. In most countries kids below 12 are barred from the front seats. So we may need some user education, to be followed up with airbags by law.
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